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Evangelicals, Dictators, Zealots and Engineers: Documentaries Take Us Inside Other Realities at Tribeca


DemocratsAt Tribeca Film Festival this year, four exceptional documentaries built their success on exploring personalities, situations and ideologies alien to the typically liberal documentary audience. For anyone who wants to make media that matters, these films provide models for exploring difference. Read more...

Yes, You Can Riff on Popular Culture—with Fair Use

Everett CollectionThe judge’s decision in the “Three’s Company” fair use case makes inspirational reading. For copyright geeks, it’s practically poetry. And for anyone else, it’s good news that the judge so eloquently defends the right to reuse copyrighted material when creating new culture. That’s a defense against the self-censorship that happens when speech is chilled for fear of copyright infringement. Read more...

Journalists Get Fair Use Spectacularly Wrong

Set of Principles in Fair Use for JournalismYou’d think they’d never created a Set of Principles in Fair Use for Journalism, the way some journalists have fumbled the chance to clarify their fair use rights.

It all began with a belated licensing demand to journalism outlets by the guy who shot the video of a South Carolina cop murdering Walter Scott.  His Australia-based publicist could be forgiven—barely—on grounds of ignorance for making up a fanciful interpretation of fair use, which is U.S. law. Read more...

Roundup: PBS and Indies at SXSW

Photo by PBS via FacebookAt SXSW, PBS made a bigger splash than usual at the media/tech mecca, with seven (!) panels and three fest films. At the new-this-year PBS Lounge (swag, free beer, comfy couches, selfies posted direct to Net), you could meet filmmakers of the three PBS premieres. PBS also announced investment in theatricals. And more than two dozen PBSers were on hand to court indies. 

But it joined a throng of distributors—not just broadcasters but also online platforms—doing the same thing. At the same time, it couldn’t say what indies wanted to hear, and it demonstrated its own version of a digital divide. Read more...

Bleeding-Edge News at SXSW

SXSWSXSW panels and events take the pulse of cutting—OK, bleeding—edge trends in tech for film. Seven takeaways from panels:

#1: Streaming video: Open and closed video streaming platforms are now mainstream, and funding programming. In fact, according to Buzzfeed’s Summer Anne Burton, YouTube (c. 160M monthly desktop viewers) is now a lean-back, longform(ish) medium—suitable for evening viewing. Read more...