Documentary in a Culture of Clearance: A Study of Knowledge of and Attitudes Toward Copyright and Fair Use Among Norwegian Documentary Makers
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Copyright law is a mechanism for regulation of production and dissemination of cultural products. In documentary storytelling reuse of copyrighted material such as footage and music is of great importance. This requires filmmakers to get permission from right holders,obtain a license or invoke fair use under copyright law. As most documentarians must handle copyright issues in production, copyright law is influencing the practice of documentary filmmaking in various ways. This article presents a study of Norwegian filmmaker’s experiences with and attitudes towards copyright. A key finding is a widespread uncertainty on copyright issues in general and in terms of invoking exception from copyright, such as fair use, in particular. It also discusses the wider implications of the current copyright regime on fundamental democratic ideals of cultural creativity and free speech.