Is Copyright Law Killing The Documentary?

from the ain't-copyright-grand? dept

A few years back, we wrote about a documentary that couldn't be shown due to copyright problems. It appears this problem is only getting worse. jprlk writes in to let us know about growing concerns from documentary filmmakers that issues concerning copyright make it increasingly difficult to actually make documentary films. Having reached this age where so many people are claiming "ownership" of content and demanding huge fees for any usage, documentary filmmakers run the risk of either getting charged repeatedly with copyright infringement or going through the long, difficult and expensive process of securing the rights. As the article quotes one documentary film maker saying, "Half of my budget is rights clearances, if you can get them." Given that the whole point of documentaries is to document things that are actually happening, it seems rather silly to realize that they can't document many things without first paying for the permission to do so.

Filed Under: copyright, documentaries


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  1. identicon
    Christopher Todesco, 29 Apr 2008 @ 11:24am

    Documentarians?

    Maybe if some wackos weren't making propaganda hit-pieces that target the corporate content owners thinly disguised as documentaries, they wouldn't be so quick to use copyright law to stop such efforts?

    Now I'm not saying I agree with copyright law as it stands now, but I'm just suggesting that supposed documentary filmmakers can't push and push and push against people, and then throw up their hands and cry foul when they push back.

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