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March 25, 2009
Filmmaking is a constant struggle between creative vision and budgetary restraint. In the production of our documentary, Bigger Stronger Faster, no issue better demonstrated this tug-of-war than our use of archival footage.
Documentary filmmakers have all too often found their creative work hobbled by unnecessarily harsh copyright clearance practices. Now, filmmakers
June 1, 2001
There is a family of myths that swirl around the clearing of film clips. This article is intended to dispel them. For instance, many filmmakers
March 25, 2019 @

An informative primer on fair use with prominent entertainment attorney, Lisa Callif. Lisa is the founding Partner of Donaldson + Callif, and co-writer of Clearance and Copyright, 4th Edition and The American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Independent Filmmaking. Lisa’s practice focuses on...

Mon. January 30, 2012 @ 7:30pm
Los Angeles, CA

The Fair Use Doctrine allows for copyrighted materials to be used without permission or payment—under certain circumstances. But what are these circumstances? How is fair use determined? What is the impact the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and its exemptions on documentary filmmaking? And how does using copyrighted material under Fair Use impact documentary filmmakers?

Mon. April 22, 2013 @ 7:30pm
Los Angeles, CA

Last year, an IDA-led coalition of filmmakers achieved a historic exemption in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) that allows documentary filmmakers to "crack" digital encryption on certain types of media (including "ripping" DVDs). What does it mean to claim fair use and how do you do it? What does the DMCA prohibit you from doing, and what does it allow you to do? What are the parameters for knowing when your access and use of copyrighted content is allowable under fair use, and covered by this exemption? In this special edition of Doc U, we will explore how to make fair use responsibly, and how to safely make use of the DMCA exemption for doc filmmakers.