A network of fair-use advocates, including MacArthur grantees American University’s Center for Social Media, the Washington College of Law’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, and Kartemquin Films, successfully petitioned the U.S. Copyright Office to grant more access to copyrighted and encrypted DVD content. The decision allows all college teachers and students, documentary filmmakers, and non-commercial video makers to use the DVD material for purposes of commentary and criticism. Obtaining legal rights to use music, archival footage, or other intellectual property can be significantly costly and time-consuming for documentary filmmakers. The Center and the Program on Information Justice helped develop guidelines for fair use best practices for documentaries, which helped educate the network of advocates about the issue. MacArthur supports efforts to remove barriers to the creative process and encourage information sharing.

Media, Media, Policy