Monday, January 17, 2005

...And Speaking of Copyright...

The Globe and Mail published an article today on the stranglehold of copyright over documentaries. From How copyright could be killing culture, by Guy Dixon.

Some are calling this the new “clearance culture,” in which access to copyrights affects the creation of new art as much as, if not more than, actual artistic and journalistic decisions. It also means that access to copyrighted footage is only open to those filmmakers with the deepest pockets (or many lawyers on their side).

With documentary filmmakers dependent on copywritten material that must be renewed every ten years or so, these creators are, in effect, leasing their own work.


As the award-winning filmmaker Katy Chevigny says in the American University report: “The only film you can make for cheap and not have to worry about rights clearance is about your grandma, yourself or your dog.”

The personal as political or as the only alternative?


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