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FIGHTING FOR FAIR USE

by
in Filmmaking
on Feb 23, 2007

Kirby Dick‘s This Film Is Not Yet Rated didn’t just expose the inconsistencies in the MPAA ratings system but helped in the battle documentary filmmakers fight every time they make a movie and must determine what is in the realm of fair use and what isn’t. In Dick’s film over 100 clips are used to show how violent films are deemed acceptable by the MPAA while films with sexual scenes aren’t. Defining the clips as fair use, Dick didn’t pay licensing fees, which would have ranged between $10,000-$15,000 a clip.

Inspired by the film, Kansas City-based Media/Professional Insurance has started offering coverage for doc filmmakers allowing them fair use of film clips, according to a story in Variety.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Initiative by Media/Professional Insurance is designed to explicitly allow documentarians to retain coverage if they rely on the “fair use” doctrine, which holds that copyrighted material may be used without compensation if it’s for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research.”

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