[VE] Copyright and Conditions of Production

I’m Blogging from a cafe on boulevard de Maissoneuve across the street from Concordia University, where I’m attending the Visible Evidence conference. I’ll write a longer discussion of the conference later, but I just wanted to briefly mention one of the panels I attended this morning, which focused on copyright issues for documentary filmmakers and scholars, including the problem of clearing rights to copyrighted film and TV footage or music (significant examples included Eyes on the Prize, a civil rights documentary that includes copyrighted music, including the song “Happy Birthday” and Robert Greenwald’s Outfoxed, for which Greenwald cited “fair use” in using short clips from FoxNews. I’ll hopefully write more about this panel, because the panel offered valuable comparisons of copyright law in the US, Canada, and the UK. But certainly one o fthe main concerns was the potential for copyright to inhibit documentary filmmakers, preventing them from telling certain kinds of stories because of copyright law (during the Q&A, there were also some valubale questions raised about the role of peer-to-peer and other forms of distribution).

For now, I’m just bookmarking the website to the Center for Social Media, an organization affiliated with American University and directed by one of the copyright panelists, Pat Aufderheide.


  1. RMC Said,

    August 23, 2005 @ 2:21 pm

    Crazy. I was in Pat Aufderheide’s Understanding Mass Media class as an undergrad 13 (!!) years ago. It’s amazing how little I was able to know of her work as a Freshman, and how fascinating and important it seems to me now.

  2. Chuck Said,

    August 23, 2005 @ 2:24 pm

    Pretty cool. The Center for Social Media looks like a really interesting organization and/or resource. Funny that I had to travel all teh way to Montreal to learn about something in my own (relatively new) backyard.

  3. Left Center Left Said,

    October 21, 2005 @ 12:25 pm

    Copyright Law and Film Studies

    John Holbo has an interesting discussion on the relevance of copyright law to humanities scholarship. Why, he asks, are cultural and literary studies scholars not up in arms over the latest moves to extend intellectual property further back in time

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