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"A Very Happy Collaborator": Meet George Stoney Sep. 26

On Sep. 26th at 2:30 pm, I'll be lucky enough to talk with George Stoney at the National Gallery of Art's main theater—incidentally the finest screening room in the city. I invite you to join me there (it's free, by the way), and I bet you'll think you're lucky too.Read more...

A New Report --Honest Truths: Documentary Filmmakers on Ethical Challenges in Their Work

We're proud to announce the release of our new report Honest Truths: Documentary Filmmakers on Ethical Challenges in Their Work at www.centerforsocialmedia.org/ethics. It's also being showcased on a panel at the Toronto International Film Festival's first documentary conference, on Sept. 13, 2009.Read more...

Fair Use and Michael Jackson

Tipped off by copyright lawyer Michael Madison, I took a look at this brilliant little video posted on YouTube. It's a video time travel through the origins of the Michael Jackson moonwalk, reminding us of the collaborative nature of creativity and the way in which we all--yes, even Michael Jackson--stand on the shoulders of giants. Each clip has its own copyright story, but all are great examples of transformative purpose. Read more...

QUESTION OF THE MONTH: Free Legal Advice for Fair Use


Dear Center for Social Media,

We are looking for an expert in Fair Use that can watch our documentary and let us know if we can use some of the news archival and other historical footage that we have included. As you well know, financial resources are always tight when making a film; therefore,
I will truly appreciate if you know of anyone that can donate these services to us.

All the best,



Dear Daniel,

Favorite films of Silverdocs

Silverdocs showcased some exciting examples of media for public knowledge and action (and hats off to Sky Sitney for awesome programming). Yoav Shamir's Defamation raised the unmentionable question: is anti-Semitism sometimes used as a way to avoid hard questions about Israeli politics and foreign policy? The screening I attended drew heated—no, overheated—reactions from pro-Zionist and pro-Palestinian speakers. Read more...