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Fair Use Question of the Month: Digitizing Archives of Copyrighted Work

LetterDear CMSI,

I am part of a team in the special collections unit of my university library working on the recently acquired personal archive of a regional artist. We’re hoping to make the correspondence between the artist and various collectors and institutions digitally available. The archive came with a donor’s agreement allowing digital display, but there are a lot of items in the archive that are actually copyrighted to others. So what we want to know is, can we employ fair use here? If so, how? Read more...

How to Make Membership in Public Broadcasting More Meaningful

POV Web JunkieLast year, I donated to my local public broadcaster, which had decided to carry my favorite shows, Independent Lens and POV—the two public TV series that carry award-winning, diverse documentaries—at a time I could actually watch them. (That is, at the nationally scheduled time, on Monday nights at 10pm.) And I told them why I was donating.

And so now I’m a member of my local station. Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Exhibitions of Copyrighted Art

Protest artDear CMSI,

I work at a museum and I’m on a team that’s putting together an exhibition on art emerging from twenty-first-century protest movements, with a web component and an interactive, online catalogue. Some of the art is digital, some is ephemeral, some of it was created anonymously. I already have access to most of it, but do I need to get permissions before I can use it? Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Creating Artwork from Copyrighted Materials

News InstallationDear CMSI,

I am working on an installation. One of its main features will be a display with current websites of top news sources in different countries. It was also have a loop playing below it of headline news from the week before. Do I have to ask permission from anyone to build this material into my work? Read more...

Documentary at Tribeca: Formats, Cinéma vérité, Exposé

Taxi passes the Tribeca Film Festival

Is documentary a genre? The Tribeca Film Festival this April, which Indiewire just rated among the top three for documentary, gave a chance to survey the scene of docs and look for trends. “Too many people think documentary is a genre,” said programmer Cara Cusumano. “But documentary can have every genre a narrative film can be.”

You can slice the genre question a lot of ways, but you can’t deny that the marketplace for real-life entertainment has never been hotter, and even on the indie doc circuit makers are working within formats that sell. And you can’t deny Tribeca Film Festival is positioning itself as not only a showcase but a market. At the documentary smorgasbord of Tribeca, you could see documentaries working within formats designed for great promo and quick sale. But you could also find the improbable, the quirky, and the shocking. Read more...