Truth and Consequences

Friday, May 08, 2009


For documentary filmmakers the ‘fair use’ of copyrighted material is a protection that allows them to create much of their work. But in recent years the terms of ‘fair use’ have been hotly contested. Gordon Quinn, producer of "Hoop Dreams," explains why he and a group of award winning documentarians are headed to D.C. this week for the next round in the fight.

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Comments [3]

MrJM from Chicagoland

Making a video and hoping not to get sued? Check out American University's Center for Social Media Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video, now with video explanation:

May. 18 2009 09:01 AM
Judd from White Plains, NY

This story is important, but it is really incomplete. OTM fails to mention the reason that documentarians want the right to unlock video files: they want to show portions of other people's movies in their own.

It's a pretty basic part of the art form.

We are in the age of youtube, so documentarians would like to be able to simply grab portions of video straight from a DVD, reference the source appropriately and claim fair use, just as they would a web video. I am thinking that the point of the segment is that we want our documentarians and video journalists to be able to grab video and show clips of it without being criminals and voiding the possibility of legitimate distribution. But I could be wrong.

May. 12 2009 04:55 PM
Evan Wilder from Washington, Dc

This was the one story in this week's show that I just didn't get. Maybe I need a little more background information but whatever the reason I still don't understand how documentary filmmakers are affected by fair use laws. I also didn't get how he would have to pay $5,000 by including the song Happy Birthday in the film.

Is this a little too much shop talk or am I just dense?

May. 11 2009 09:48 PM

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