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Copyright and Fair Use

Fair Use Goes International: Israel

The highlight of my trip to the high-energy, high-touch DocAviv Documentary Film Festival was an open workshop on copyright and documentary, attended by about 35 filmmakers and a few lawyers. It shouldn’t have been surprising, but Israeli documentary filmmakers are just as frustrated and confused as U.S. makers used to be about what copyrighted material they must license and what they can just use. They’re just as eager to figure it out, and they’ve suddenly become poster children for Fair Use outside the U.S. Israeli law was just changed to incorporate U.S.-style Fair Use. Read more...

Turnitin, Fair Use Hero

There’s an irony in the recent court victory of the anti-plagiarism site Turnitin. I believe that Turnitin protects the jobs of the laziest group of teachers across the nation—people who assign the same general assignment year after year. Worse, Turnitin depends on a romantic and wrong idea of creativity (individual originality as the highest value), and it forms part of the copyright mis-education of American students by associating all copying and collaborating with cheating.Read more...

Fair Use on Trial, and Knowledge Wins

Chicago filmmaker Floyd Webb wanted to make a movie about a colorful martial arts figure, who called himself Counte Dante (http://johnkeehan.blogspot.com/). The grandmaster of the Black Dragon Fighting Society, William V. Aguiar III, tried to stop him by blocking his access to images of Counte Dante and material from his training video. Read more...

Remixing Remixes

While researching videos for Recut, Reframe, Recycle, I was often struck by the meta verse that exists in the user generated content world. Videos that remix are often being remixed, and the dialogue is ever expanding. The Dramatic Chipmunk meme, for example, is an interesting phenomenon. While conducting our research for Recut, we found that there were over 92 remixes of the "original video" (which was actually a remix of a Japanese television show.)Read more...