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Copyright and Fair Use

Answers to Common Intellectual Property Questions for the Independent Documentary Filmmaker

Observance of intellectual property rights is necessary because failure to guarantee clearance may compromise the documentary's broadest possible distribution. To help relieve some of the attendant burdens and potential expenses that could incur for failure to comply with intellectual property clearance, the filmmaker should thoroughly and scrupulously explore available clearance alternatives. Three such alternatives, on which this memo focuses, are fair use, the public domain, and the Creative Commons.