DMCA

Happy Birthday, Hoop Dreams, and the fight for fair use

A federal judge's verdict today marked a great victory for filmmakers and fair use champions everywhere. The ruling that the lyrics to “Happy Birthday to You” are not protected by copyright has special resonance for Kartemquin, as the injustice of having to pay $5,000 to license the song in our 1994 film Hoop Dreams directly inspired our long and ongoing fight to secure the fair use rights of all filmmakers.

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DMCA exemptions granted for docmakers

The U.S. Copyright Office today granted documentary makers a renewed exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), allowing them to rip content from DVDs and streaming video for the purpose of "fair use" incorporation in their work. This ruling extends the victory for filmmakers secured in 2010 by a coalition including Kartemquin, and protects the short-term future of documentary film. However, the decision not to allow an exemption for Blu-Ray means that the future is uncertain and in some ways worryingly limited.
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