Victory Allows Documentary Filmmakers Access To DVD And Online Media Under Fair Use
The exemption was granted as a result of an action spearheaded by entertainment attorney Michael C. Donaldson, working with the USC Intellectual Property Clinic Professor Jack Lerner, who assembled a nationwide coalition of documentary filmmakers and filmmaker organizations, including the International Documentary Association, Kartemquin Films, Independent Filmmaker Project, and the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. Donaldson provided legal counsel for the effort on a pro bono basis.
“Without this exemption, many important projects currently in production could not have been made,” said Donaldson. “This is a great day for documentary filmmaking and for the future of books.”
“Encryption and other forms of technological locks have become pervasive in the digital environment, and these locks have special legal protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,” said Lerner. “That’s why today’s exemption is so important—it preserves the ability for filmmakers and e-book authors to use films in criticism and commentary, as they have done for decades.”
The exemption goes into effect Monday, October 28th, 2012, and will expire in late 2015.