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Breaking New Ground: A Framework for Measuring the Social Impact of Canadian Documentaries

This report examines seven Canadian documentaries, providing reflective guidelines for the future of documentary-making in the country and the world. The report aims to measure the social impact of documentaries and provide a "baseline" on which to build new strategies for future activities. 


Evaluating Your Outreach Efforts

Ellen Schneider and Melaine Piersol discuss the importance of outreach campaign evaluations. They move past the primary successes and failures of projects to the reassessment of how filmmakers and outreach coordinators develop new programs and redefine goals and objectives.


Go to: http://www.benton.org/publibrary/mtm/Pages/ten.html

Socially Engaged Public Access Productions: Making the Road by Walking

This paper defines the field of socially engaged media in public access television and provides a framework for how social media is being used in public access TV. Socially engaged public access television productions take many forms, including town hall dialogues, oral history documentaries, organizing videos, coverage of school board meetings, and critiques of mainstream media.


Media For Social Change: Partnerships

An in-depth look at the benefits to filmmakers and funders who form collaborative partnerships in pursuit of their goals.


How to Find Out What is in the Public Domain

Professor Peter Hirtle explains when copyrighted material falls into the public domain. This is a great chart to hang onto for future reference.


Fair Use: An Essential Feature of Copyright

Testimony by Peter Jaszi explaining the legal significance of the doctrine of fair use for creators, consumers and commerce. Given at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce's Hearing on “Fair Use: Its Effects on Consumers and Industry.”


Go to: Full Transcript of Peter Jaszi's Testimony on Fair Use

"Yes, You Can!" – Where You Don't Even Need 'Fair Use'

The answers to some of filmmakers’ most common clearance questions don’t really lie in the realm of “fair use” at all, but fall under the heading of “free use.” This helpful guide by Peter Jaszi offers insight into what falls into the category of "free use."


Go to: "Yes you can!" on free use

Expanding User Rights For Documentary Filmmakers

In 2005, academics, representatives of legal clinics, documentary filmmakers, litigators, and leaders of non-profit entities met to discuss current activities to improve documentary filmmakers’ ability to use copyright law. The convening revealed the importance of research on actual practice, the crafting of remedies appropriate to and with participation from creative communities, of developing and publicizing models for exercising user rights that other creative communities can apply mutatis mutandis; the crucial role for legal support for community practice; the potential of policy interventions; and the fruitfulness of communication and collaboration.


Go to: Expanding User Rights For Documentary Filmmakers

Untold Stories: Creative Consequences of the Rights Clearance Culture for Documentary Filmmakers

The Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices began with a study demonstrating the problems that documentary filmmakers face in getting and controlling rights for their creative work. Here is the 2004 report, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.


Go to: Untold Stories (PDF)

Fahrenheit, Fries, Fox, & Fairness: The New Political Documentary

Panel Discussion moderated by Center director Pat Aufderheide with Outfoxed director Robert Greenwald, Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock, Control Room editor Julia Bacha and Fahrenheit 9/11 producer Jeff Gibbs at the 2004 Aspen Film Festival.