Fair Use Without Fear! Copyright for Participatory Culture

Copyright has become a terrifying word, as copyright problems have floated into everyone’s daily life. Bloggers, filmmakers, photographers, teachers, students and remix artists face daily decisions about how to handle copyrighted material when they use it in their work. This session features insights from a leading scholar of fair use, a filmmaker with extensive experience with copyright, and a law professor. In addition to discussing fair use in film, we will relate these principles to photography, blogging and other artistic mediums.

Brian Frye will introduce the workshop and give a brief overview of the topic and participants. Patricia Aufderheide will then present on Fair Use as a free speech right, and tie this in with filmmaking in particular. David Van Taylor will then present clips from four films, below, and address putting fair use to work. These will offer an opportunity to discuss the many faces of fair use, as well as the way the fair-use movement has transformed the landscape.

With this background, attendees will test their fair use knowledge, brainstorming scenarios in film, online video, blogs and elsewhere,. “Fair Use: You Be the Judge!” winners will receive a prize!

Selections will be screened from:

– DREAM DECEIVERS (1992), two families who accused heavy-metal band Judas Priest of mesmerizing their children into a suicide pact, made in the dark days before the fair-use revolution …

– GOOD OL’ CHARLES SCHULZ (2007), a biography of the creator of Peanuts, which used some unexpected material about Schulz’s favorite film …

– ADVISE & DISSENT (2010), a behind the scenes look at the Supreme Court confirmation battles–including the not-always-salutary role of the news media …

– TO TELL THE TRUTH (2011): fair-use principles are applied in telling the history of documentary film itself.

As an extension of the workshop, we will be screening the documentary The Buddha at 8:00pm. Afterwards, we will have a discussion with filmmaker David Grubin, which will include the use of archival material and music rights in the documentary which will relate to the workshop. Free admittance to the screening for attendees of the workshop.

Special Thanks to the University of Chicago Press

Patricia Aufderheide is University Professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C., and founder-director of the Center for Social Media there. She is the co-author with Peter Jaszi of “Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright” (University of Chicago Press, July 2011), and author of, among others, “Documentary: A Very Short Introduction” (Oxford, 2007), “The Daily Planet” (University of Minnesota Press, 2000), and of “Communications Policy in the Public Interest” (Guilford Press, 1999). She heads the Fair Use and Free Speech research project at the Center, in conjunction with Prof. Peter Jaszi in American University’s Washington College of Law. She has received numerous journalism and scholarly awards, including the Preservation and Scholarship award in 2006 from the International Documentary Association.  She has served on the board of directors of the Independent Television Service, which produces innovative television programming for underserved audiences under the umbrella of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

David Van Taylor learned about fair use the hard way when clearing music rights for his first film, about a subliminal-message lawsuit against Judas Priest. DREAM DECEIVERS went on to screen at Berlin, the Film Forum, and on POV, and to win an IDA award; but it is only being released in home video 20 years later thanks to the fair-use revolution. His other works include A PERFECT CANDIDATE (Oscar short-list), GHOSTS OF ATTICA (duPont-Columbia), the religious-right history WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE (Variety: “Inspired”) and GOOD OL’ CHARLES SCHULZ (Time Out: “Fascinating”). Van Taylor has also produced for MTV, Discovery, Court TV and Michael Moore’s TV Nation. A 2010-11 Guggenheim Fellow, he is Vice President of Lumiere Productions in New York.

Brian Frye is a filmmaker, writer and law professor. His films explore relationships between history, society, and cinema through archival and amateur images. His films have appeared in places like The Whitney Biennial, New York Film Festival’s “Views from the Avant-Garde”, New York Underground Film Festival, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Warhol Museum, Pleasure Dome, Media City and Images Festival. His short films are in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum and distributed by the Filmmaker’s Coop. He’s been awarded grants from the Jerome Foundation and ETC. His writing on film and art has appeared in October, The New Republic, Film Comment, Cineaste, Millennium Film Journal and the Village Voice. He is currently a visiting assistant professor at Hofstra Law School and is developing a beer-brewing hobby.

View Comments

  1. […] part of their Fair Use Without Fear! workshop project, UnionDocs will be screening The Buddha on Saturday, October 29 at 8pm. It will be […]

    Pingback by David Grubin Productions Announcements » Blog Archive » The Buddha screening at UnionDocs on October 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm

  2. […] Fair Use Without Fear! Copyright for Participatory Culture […]

    Pingback by THE WEEK: Oct 24-28. « The 22 Magazine on October 24, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Leave a Reply