Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fair Use: Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use

Patricia Aufderheide, a film-studies professor, and Peter Jaszi, a law professor at American University helped author this short, free guide for documentarians; the Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use,
Documentary filmmakers have created, through their professional associations, a clear, easy to understand statement of fair and reasonable approaches to fair use. Fair Use is the right, in some circumstances, to quote copyrighted material without asking permission or paying for it. It is a crucial feature of copyright law. In fact, it is what keeps copyright from being censorship. You can invoke fair use when the value to the public of what you are saying outweighs the cost to the private owner of the copyright.

It covers several topics, notably:
ONE: Employing Copyrights Material As The Object Of Social, Political, Or Cultural Critique
TWO: Quoting Copyrights Works Of Popular Culture TO Illustrate An Argument Or Point
THREE: Capturing Copyrighted Media Content In The Process Of Filming Something Else
FOUR: Using Copyrighted Material In A Historical Sequence
It also includes a section on common misunderstandings about Fair Use. You can download it for free.
Center for Social MediaDocumentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use

The two are also co-authors of a forthcoming book Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright, and their work is highlighted in this article at The Chronicle:
"People are choosing not to create," says Ms. Aufderheide. "The general feeling is, You never want to do anything that deals with popular movies or music, because you can't clear those."
Pushing Back Against Legal Threats by Putting Fair Use Forward | Jeffrey R. Young | The Chronicle
Amazon: Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for letting us know about those books! It is a shame that it can be difficult to quote various media without permission. I mean, I understand copyright laws are there to protect property, but when you're working in video production it gets difficult to negotiate all of the rules. What are the rules when interview subjects quote/paraphrase someone or use a brand name?