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Fair Use Question of the Month: Captioning Copyrighted Film for People with Disabilities

DVDsDear CMSI,

I am a librarian at a liberal arts college. Last week a young man who was hearing-disabled asked if we had a film he wanted to use for his chemistry project in captioned audiovisual format. Not only was it not captioned, I couldn’t find anywhere to buy a captioned version of it--it’s an older work.

Can I legally make a captioned copy for him? And can I keep a copy so someone else who’s hearing-disabled could use it too? Read more...

New AIR Webinar Highlights the “Crowd” in “Crowdfunding”

AIR Presents: A Media Maker's Guide to KickstarterCrowdfunding has enabled countless independent media projects that may otherwise have been shelved, but it doesn't guarantee success. Like any fundraising initiative, a successful crowdfunding campaign requires careful thought and planning. "AIR Presents: A Media Maker's Guide to Kickstarter” is a new 45-minute webinar that helps media makers through the process. Read more...

How Fair Use Brought Dream Deceivers to Home Video

Dream DeceiversA new generation is going to see the fabled documentary "Dream Deceivers," because its director employed fair use. 

Back in 1992, David Van Taylor ("A Perfect Candidate," "Good Ol' Charles Schulz") went behind the scenes of a notorious "heavy metal/suicide" trial for his first film.  Two young men had shot themselves, and their parents sued Judas Priest, claiming the youths were mesmerized by subliminal messages.  The masterfully-edited documentary was a look inside the vortex of moral panic.

It was also a copyright nightmare. Read more...

Documentary Impact Dialogue

Media Impact FundersIn recent weeks the documentary community has been abuzz with rich conversation about impact assessment and who sets the standard. At the Center we encourage everyone to explore their options, and provide a forum for ideas-sharing through our annual Media That Matters conference. We're also turning to Media Impact Funders, who has a handy list of research and resources on all things impact, in addition to practical analysis by Jessica Clark. Read more...

Better Distribution by Giving It Away?

Piracy CrusadeA scholar on piracy gave his book away, and boosted his sales.

The great “intellectual piracy” debate is generally conducted without data, but a recent example provides an intriguing case study. Communication scholar Aram Sinnreich writes about piracy and copyright. His latest book, The Piracy Crusade, argues that the music business’ fight against downloaders has been bad for business and for creative expression.Read more...