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October 1992


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"James D. Peterson" <[log in to unmask]>
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Wed, 14 Oct 1992 15:30:54 CST
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Benson and Anderson's book on Wiseman is certainly worth a look, too.  It is
a very impressive publishing project.
On the subject of ethics, I wonder if Tom B. would care to comment on the
cooperation (?!) of the filmmaker in publishing their book.  (If you don't
know, Wiseman didn't grant permission for the use of frame enlargements, so
the authors had to use ink drawings instead.)
In particular, I am wondering about the impact of the Society for Cinema
Studies committee (whose report is due out soon in CINEMA JOURNAL).  The
report makes a very strong case that the use of frame enlargements is
protected by the fair use provision in the copyright act.
Since Wiseman takes such advantage of his broad construal of his first
amendment rights (he says that he doesn't need permission to film in public
institutions), isn't it ironic that he would so constrain a scholar's rights
to cite his films?  I don't really see how a book like Benson and Anderson's
could possibly infringe on Wiseman's market.  The only rationale for denying
permission would be that he might not like what was said about his films.
This certainly seems to run counter to the principles underlying a broad
interpretation of the right to free speech.
James Peterson
University of Notre Dame
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