Copyright and Documentary through Comics

Two Duke law professors and an expert in the public domain have written a comic, available under a Creative Commons license, about the impact of current copyright culture and its impact on creativity. They are particularly focused on how a trend towards a positive obligation to “clear copyright” and show that use of another’s work is fair use is, in reality, stifling fair use as studios refuse to take risks on including fair use content without permission and individuals cannot afford to defend legal cases if their fair use is challenged. There is example after example given of individuals filming reality and having to edit or cut scenes because they cannot get permission to include an icon or a background song that was in fact there at that time. They point out that with the expense of actually creating a film dropping with cheaper equipment and video editing, this is going to become more of a problem as more people will be able to create film without the backing of a major funding source. As one might expect given the Creative Commons licensing, it is clear from the start that they will not be arguing to throw out the ideas of copyright and intellectual property entirely. This is in the end an argument for Creative Commons licensing and giving more flexible control over how content is and is not reused by others to the people who have created it. It’s a familiar argument if you have read about this topic much at all, but this is a very nice and fairly entertaining presentation of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *