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Copyright and Fair Use

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

Success of the Statement of Best Practices

The Statement has provoked dramatic change in the industry since it was released in November 2005. PBS and ITVS have used the Statement to release programs, and so have cablecasters including IFC. All four of the national errors and omissions insurers now issue fair use coverage routinely, as a result of the Statement.


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)