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Do Filmmakers Know Their Rights?

MaidanConversation on the filmmaker v. journalist distinction that happened at Sundance was also picked up at this year’s True/False Film Fest. Filmmakers who took some big risks took part in an “I Know My Rights” discussion that perhaps should have been more of a question than a statement. Nick Broomfield (Tales of the Grim Sleeper), David Felix Sutcliffe ((T)ERROR), Matthew Hieneman (Cartel Land) and Serhy Stetsenko (Maidan) spoke to many of the issues covered in the Center report released in February: “Dangerous Documentaries: Reducing Risk When Telling Truth to Power.” Read more...

Dollars, Doughnuts and Distribution

Photo by Rebecca Allen via True/False Film FestA few dollars and a doughnut are what most filmmakers can expect to have leftover after a distribution deal has been milked by distributor, exhibitor, sales agent, deliverables and marketing costs. Prospects for money from this traditional model are grim according to a panel discussion at the 2015 True/False Film Fest, and self-distribution is the way to go. Read more...

Josh Oppenheimer Wants to Reinvent the Human Rights Film

The Look of SilenceAt the Based on a True Story conference associated with the True/False Film Fest, filmmaker Josh Oppenheimer explained why his latest film, The Look of Silence, is not about past genocide but about current trauma.

The maker’s earlier Oscar-nominated work, The Act of Killing, followed Indonesian gangsters who are still congratulating themselves on their work in the mid-1960s murdering workers who were accused of being Communists. In The Look of Silence, he follows a survivor—the younger brother of a man whose murder was, unusually, witnessed. The survivor begins a process of confronting murderers who are still supported by the most powerful political forces in the society. Read more...

Visual Arts Community Embraces Fair Use Code

At the annual College Art Association conference, the news was about fair use. 

Thousands of attendees received a copy of the just-created Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. At the Committee on Intellectual Property’s annual panel, Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi joined CAA Board President Dewitt Godfrey, a sculptor; Anne Goodyear, a museum curator; Christine Sundt, a journal editor; and CAA’s counsel Jeffrey Cunard to introduce members to the resources.

As members asked questions, panelists were able to showcase the related resources for them, including an FAQ that included answers to all the questions audience members raised. Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Teaching About Copyrighted Art

Dear CMSI,

Next Fall I'll be teaching art history for the first time. I've got some great donations of slides from fellow profs, as well as my own photographs from museums, monuments, books, and websites - but I don't have permission for any of this, and at least half of it is probably copyrighted. How much can I do with it? I'd like to show it in class and put relevant slides up on the class (password-protected) website. Read more...