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.
This week we released a video to illustrate the dramatic difference in picture quality between the original Hoop Dreams released in 1994 and the newly restored HD version. Though the film is widely beloved and has been seen by millions over the past twenty years, it has never ever looked as good as this!
Gordon will also present a masterclass on documentary filmmaking ethics at the Arkansas-based festival, which runs October 10-19 and is the oldest all-documentary film festival in North America. Multiple Kartemquin films will also screen at the festival.