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Stanford Sponsors Fair Use Initiative For Documentary Filmmakers

Publication Date: 
March 02, 2007
Patent Trademark And Copyright Journal

The Fair Use Project of the Center for Internet and Society was initiated at the International Documentary Association's 25th Annual Celebration of Academy Award Documentary Nominees in Beverly Hills Feb. 22. It is meant to give "pro bono" legal support to documentary filmmakers. Professor Lessig and Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project are quoted:

"Documentary filmmakers who use copyrighted materials in their work under the 'fair use' doctrine of copyright law have come under tremendous pressure in the face of demands for huge licensing fees from copyright holders and overly-aggressive enforcement of copyrights," Stanford's Lawrence Lessig said in a Feb. 27 press statement. "The mere threat of a lawsuit can keep an important film on the shelf for years," he said.

Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project, predicted that the initiative will have "a very positive impact."

"Copyright holders will no longer be able to rely on fear and intimidation," Falzone said. "Everyone will be on a level playing field."