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Documentary Productions, Licensing, The Right Footage

Fair Use in Documentary: Understanding the Costs


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‘Fair use’ is a term used in the media industries in many countries. However in the United States, ‘fair use’ refers to the doctrine in US copyright law allowing the use of short verbatim excerpts of copyrighted material for a range of “transformative” purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, research, and even parody without permission from the copyright holder. Countries such as the UK and France have their own fair use laws with specific language and guidelines, but these are ultimately quite similar in purpose to American fair use doctrine. In countries where fair use is permitted, this legal framework can be a valuable tool for filmmakers, especially fair use in documentary. However, in some cases, claiming fair use on footage used in a project can present editorial and aesthetic constraints, as well as pose a legal and financial burden to a production.

Here are a few things to remember when considering claiming fair use of copyrighted footage in film and television productions. (más…)

Featured Archives

‘footage berlin’: Bridging East and West, Past and Present through Archives


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Can you share a little bit of history about rbb and the ‘footage berlin‘ collection? How does its history set it apart from some of the other major collections in Germany?

rbb media is the commercial side of Berlin-Brandenburg’s broadcasting arm, and we feature collections of tv programs from three archives:

The first is the rbb television archive with material from the city of Berlin and the region of Brandenburg, including TV programs from the former SFB (Radio Free Berlin) in (West) Berlin from 1955 to 2003, and from ORB, the East German broadcaster in Brandenburg after reunification from 1991 – 2003. rbb emerged from the merger of these two broadcasters in 2003 – a bridge between East and West.  (más…)