Thursday, August 24, 2006

Copyright comic books: it's a time for heroes

Duke University's Center for the Public Domain has a brilliant graphic illustration (i.e. comic book) of the arcane, confusing and often contradictory labryinth that is the U.S. Copyright Code. It's a dark tale of hoarders, evil corporations who wish to extend copyright into perpituity. Their enemies: Fair use and her guardians. The subject of this first installment the realistic unreal world of the documentary film world.

It's called "Tales of the Public Domain: Bound by Law" by Keith Aoki, James Boyle, and Jennifer Jenkins. Digital copies are available and this creation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license (as is Audio Artifacts).

Bound By Law ©2006 Keith Aoki, James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins

A documentary is being filmed. A cell phone rings, playing the “Rocky” theme song. The filmmaker is told she must pay $10,000 to clear the rights to the song. Can this be true? “Eyes on the Prize,” the great civil rights documentary, was pulled from circulation because the filmmakers’ rights to music and footage had expired. What’s going on here? It’s the collision of documentary filmmaking and intellectual property law, and it’s the inspiration for this new comic book. Follow its heroine Akiko as she films her documentary, and navigates the twists and turns of intellectual property. Why do we have copyrights? What’s “fair use”? Bound By Law reaches beyond documentary film to provide a commentary on the most pressing issues facing law, art, property and an increasingly digital world of remixed culture.

Some older posts on the subject from the archive:
1) Eyes on the Prize: Performance and Copyright (2/1/2005)

2) Film and Copyright...Taking it into the Festivals (1/29/2005)

3) Chinese Film: Reflecting on Cultural Production (1/28/2005)

I also want to welcome of the newest members of the blogosphere, my long-time friend Jessisca [sic.] and her new virutal home, Brandy Hall, IL--yes, she's a LOTR fan. Welcome Jessica!

Current Listening: Great Big Sea, The Hard and the Easy (Zoe, 2006)


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