Fair Use Rights for Documentaries

There’s a fine article today in the San Jose Mercury, licensed from the Los Angeles Times, about the issue of “fair use” rights with documentary productions. One of the biggest hurdles facing a documentary film maker is the matter of clearing usage of certain film clips. When Robert Greenwald produced his documentary “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, ” he did so without obtaining clearances from the Fox News organization, and he got away with it, thanks to the “fair use” legal concept.

“The Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use” has been created as a guideline for judging when material is free for use under the “fair use” laws. You can read about how this guideline came together by accessing this article weblink.

2 comments to Fair Use Rights for Documentaries

  • You have to register to read that article. I won’t be registering so I’ll just assume it is brilliant. LOL!

  • EP

    It looks like the San Jose Mercury and the Los Angeles Times both require registration to view this article. For what it’s worth, the Mercury seems to provide more access to the archives.

    The article is really just a short summary of how the new “Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use” came to be. If you do a Google search for this phrase, you can find more information about the concept. The Center for Social Media has a good overview at:

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