Legal Issues Media

Example of the ridiculousness of copyright clearance

Story originally from Lessig Blog and the BBC.

At the Cannes Film Festival, a film named Tarnation is wowing the critics and crowds…impressing Gus Van Sant and John Cameron Mitchell to sign on as producers and attempt to get the film a distributor. It’s the story told via a series of filmed narratives of the director and subject since he was 11, as he deals with his mother’s mental illness.

The copyright problem here is this: the director/star/subject (Jonathan Caouette) estimates that the film cost a total of $218 to make. That’s the cost of the videotapes, and the one prop he purchased solely for the film (a pair of angels wings).

Cost to clear the rights to the images/music that he used in editting the film together?


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