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
    Chris C., 29 Apr 2008 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Documentarians?

    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.

    Im curious what parallelism you're trying to draw in saying that documentary filmakers "push" and cant handle being "pushed back."

    Filmakers are trying to release content, while the target of their focus is trying to hide that content. So the only way they would be affected by being "pushed back" is if they had information they didnt want released... but that isnt the case; so what exactly do you mean???

    I assume you mean that they're peeved that they're trying to do something and someone is interfeering, which is the only similarity between both parties, and that's just everyday oridinary life... If someone is trying to hide something, they're going to take every available measure to do so; it's only natural they use copywright law to further conceal it.

    In other words you're just stating the obvious, but I'm pretty sure propaganda hit-pieces that are thinly disguised as documentaries made by supposed filmakers is the real issue you're getting at, so next time just say you hate Michael Moore.

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