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January 2006, Week 4


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 24 Jan 2006 05:25:10 -0600
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Fair Use Free Speech
Deadline: May 1, 2006
Go to for a flyer and entry forms

UFVA is hosting a contest for the best short documentaries employing
fair use, made by higher education students and faculty.

Fair use is the legal use of other people's copyrighted work without
permission or payment--in certain circumstances. Fair use ensures that
freedom of speech survives, even though usually copyright holders have
the right to control use of their material.

The law does not specify exactly what fair use is, in order to leave a
great deal of flexibility for different creative communities and
changes over time. When in doubt, the courts turn to professional and
creative practice and understanding. In recent years, documentary
filmmakers have found that broadcasters and cable casters, lawyers and
insurers tell them that fair use is too hard to define, and therefore
they cannot invoke it. Since fair use is interpreted by discipline and
profession, working professional documentary filmmakers through their
organizations established basic principles to make fair use more
useable. That statement, along with more information, is available at

Entrants should employ fair use in quoting material in their
documentaries, using the Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best
Practices in Fair Use as a guide to their decision making.

Get the statement at
For background, read Untold Stories: Creative Consequences of the Rights 
Clearance Culture for Documentary Filmmakers -


    * Must have primary creative control of the work and have all rights 
and clearances for material not employed under fair use.  Work must be 
submitted in NTSC, DVD (DATA only) or mini dv


    * Work must be 5 minutes or less  Work must be a documentary in any 
genre, including but not limited to essay, satire, parody, historical, 
musical, and personal  It must employ fair use in quoting copyrighted 


    * $1,000 faculty only plus one year membership to UFVA  $1,000 best 
co-production between faculty and student(s), plus one year membership 
to UFVA  $500 second prize co-production plus one year membership to 
UFVA  Honorable mentions: iPods plus one year membership to UFVA  
Winners will be screened at the UFVA Conference in August, 2006

Jeremy Butler

Professor - TCF Dept - U Alabama

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite