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Advocacy

IDA is at the forefront of protecting and advancing the legal rights of documentary artists, activists and journalists. Recent efforts have focused on promoting net neutrality, fair use and government arts funding, as well as defending filmmakers’ first amendment rights.


DMCA Exemption for Documentary Filmmakers

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it unlawful to rip from DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and many other encrypted technologies to prevent unauthorized access to copyrighted works. The law blocks filmmakers' ability to make fair use of invaluable footage. While fair use allows us to use copyrighted footage, the DMCA restricts our access to such material. Since 2010,  IDA and its Board of Directors members from the University of Irvine (UCI) Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic and Donaldson + Callif have represented a coalition of major independent filmmaking organizations in the effort in protecting documentary filmmakers' exemption from the DMCA. 

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Other work

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Fri, 08/14/2015 - 16:08
(T)ERROR is a jaw-dropping film. From the first frame, it is hard to believe what you are seeing on the screen. That feeling does not diminish as the film continues; it intensifies. I was first introduced to (T)ERROR as a work-in-progress when it was awarded the Garrett Scott Documentary Development
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Thu, 04/23/2015 - 11:44
Independent Lens and POV to stay on Mondays at 10pm On the tail of a several-month, multi-city listening tour during which leaders from PBS, ITVS, POV and WNET held town hall-style meetings with members of the independent film community, PBS today announced their new strategy to increase visibility
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Mon, 03/16/2015 - 16:52
Last month, with the help of the UCI Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic and Donaldson + Callif LLP, the IDA filed a lengthy comment with the United States Copyright Office seeking an exemption to the DMCA’s prohibition on “ripping” from encrypted media, which makes it illegal to
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Tue, 02/10/2015 - 11:19
Recently, net neutrality has been front and center in an ongoing fight over free and open access to information online. Over the past year, more than 4 million Americans called on Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to make sure Internet service providers would not throttle the
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IDA logo
Wed, 05/28/2014 - 18:11
Last week, the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic continued its advocacy efforts on behalf of documentary and independent filmmakers seeking reform on the issue of orphan works, copyrighted works for which the original rights holder cannot be identified or located. Many documentary
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Tue, 05/13/2014 - 21:00
In 1988, Amnesty International organized a concert tour to mark the 40th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One of the musicians, Peter Gabriel, happened to have brought a new technological marvel with him on tour. He was using a personal video camera to record
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Tue, 05/13/2014 - 21:00
Neither a production company nor a distributor, Working Films , the North Carolina-based nonprofit, brings media activists, educators, community groups and other social organizations together to increase the social, political and cultural impact of specific issue documentaries. For Working Films, a
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Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:00
This is the best and worst of times for social documentarians. Never has it been easier or cheaper to make a social documentary than today. Many a film professional will grumble, though, that it's still pretty hard to make a watchable one. No matter how cheap it gets to capture images and edit them
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Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:54
Guest post by recent USC Law grad Rom Bar-Nissim ’13, who was on the legal team on the brief.
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Donaldson speaking in front of the congress
Wed, 04/02/2014 - 21:00
Organizations urge Congress to reduce risk for independent filmmakers.