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Fair Use Question of the Month: Images of Copyrighted Work

PaintingDear CMSI,

I found an acceptable-quality copy of the public-domain painting I need to illustrate a point in my new book. The same image is available from a museum, but the museum would charge me a permissions fee. Can I just use the copy I found for my book? Read more...

Visual Arts Fair Use Code Gains Endorsement

Another major organization has endorsed the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts: The Visual Resources Association (VRA), whose members manage image collections in higher education, museums and archives. 

The prestigious professional association was an early supporter of fair use in the visual arts, with guidelines on using images in teaching and research. Now, it will collaborate with the College Art Association to promote the Code, which CMSI helped to create. Read more...

How Participatory Filmmaking Saved My Career

Filmmaker Bryan Bello rides the metro with Director Levester Green. Photo courtesy of Bryan Bello.That Sunday morning began as all the others, with a rest on the Red Line. Real, uninterrupted rest - well, relatively uninterrupted. The winter walks to the metro from the McDonalds where Levester and I sought refuge between hours of rail operation, always presented the illusion of coming rest.

But no more than thirty minutes into the ride - the distance from Shady Grove to the American University stop where we first met - an all too familiar cold crept into my bones. Metro kept the cars cool to deter us, and others like us, from actively hunting shuteye on their grounds.

When I say “us” I should say, “him.” Levester is actually without housing. I’m just a filmmaker (a student filmmaker at the time) with a rented apartment, who chose to spend his winter weekends on the streets in pursuit of some direct-cinema pipe dream.Read more...

Can Public TV and Indie Filmmakers Get Along?

At the University Film and Video conference in August, the challenging but rewarding relationship between indie filmmakers and public TV was celebrated—by pubtv insiders as well as indies.

 Panel on public TVAs filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz said in launching the panel discussion, indie filmmakers have a long and sometimes fractious history with public TV, and one that has resulted in more opportunities for makers and more diverse programming. In the 1980s, a decade of continuous and often contentious pressure—for more programming time for indies, who offer the most diverse perspectives and voices on public TV--created the documentary production public TV unit ITVS. Read more...

What makes a documentary durable?

Michael RabigerCILECT North America’s Docu-Day conference opened at American University with a manifesto-like volley from professor emeritus and field leader Michael Rabiger, who asked, “What makes a documentary durable?” His answer: Film art, featuring creative use of elements ranging fr Read more...