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Good News on Fair Use and Frame Grabs

For the last 15 years, film scholars have been asserting their Fair Use rights to reproduce stills and frame grabs of films and videos they discuss in their work. They’ve been helped by a clear statement of their rights created by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Now, Kristin Thompson, who as president of SCMS in 1993 guided the creation of that statement, has assessed in her blog what has happened since. The news is all good: Scholars have used their rights, there have been no lawsuits, and related case law (especially the Bill Graham Archives case) has reinforced scholars’ claims.

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