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Protect Your Fair Use Rights! DMCA Exemption Hearings This Wednesday Morning at UCLA

By Jack Lerner

This Wednesday, the IDA will be participating in a special Los Angeles hearing conducted by the United States Copyright Office in the next step of our advocacy for an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Last November, this February, and earlier this month, we submitted comments seeking a rule that would allow filmmakers to bypass the encryption on DVDs, Blu-ray, and digitally transmitted video in order to make fair use in their films. Currently, the DMCA prevents filmmakers from accessing such material, even if we have the right to make fair use of it! To learn more about the DMCA, its effect on filmmakers, and what we are doing about it, please visit our FAQ.

At the hearings, we will present testimony from Gordon Quinn and Jim Morrissette of Kartemquin Films, who will explain how the DMCA is affecting documentary filmmakers and why the current exemption (which expires this fall) must be renewed and modified. Chris Perez from Donaldson + Callif will talk about why narrative filmmakers also need an exemption. Finally, Aaron Benmark, Rahul Sajnani, and IDA Board Member Jack Lerner will answer questions from the Copyright Office and help explain additional points. Aaron, Rahul, and Professor Lerner have been heavily involved with this project all this year as part of their work in the UCI Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic.

If you want to show your support for fair use, you can attend the hearings at UCLA School of Law, Room 1314, on May 20 at 9:00AM! Directions and parking info here. (Email us if you plan on coming!)


This post was coauthored by Aaron Benmark, Rahul Sajnani, and Jack Lerner.