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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...

Filmmakers, Funders and Risk

Full Frame SpeakeasyGuest Post by Kaitlin Whitman

At the 18th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival,  Angelica Das, associate director at CMSI, joined filmmakers and funders to discuss best practices for high-risk storytelling. Using the Center’s recent report “Dangerous Docs” as a catalyst, this conservation looked specifically at the relationship of funders and risk. Read more...

Live-Streaming Friday: Caty Borum Chattoo on Comedy for Change

Skoll World ForumAt this year’s Media That Matters conference, American University School of Communication Executive in Residence and Center for Media & Social Impact Co-Director Caty Borum Chattoo spoke about humor as “an incredibly powerful way to communicate about social issues.” On Friday, April 17 at 6:45am EST, she will be taking this message global.

Borum Chattoo has been invited to speak at the 2015 Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship’s session “What’s So Funny? The Role of Comedy in Social Change,” moderated by Jess Search of BRITDOC. Listeners are invited to “explore the power of humor to spotlight issues in a serious world.” Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Writing About Art

Image by Florin Rosoga/FlickrDear CMSI,

I've just gotten an academic article accepted! It’s a comparison of the work of two major later twentieth-century painters. I've been able to find acceptable-quality reproductions of the work I'm comparing, but the journal asks authors to get permission for all illustrations. Do I have to get permission? Read more...