Yesterday, the independent filmmaking world breathed a sigh of relief when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier ruling in Garcia v. Google, the infamous “Innocence of Muslims” case. The case concerned whether an actress who appeared onscreen for five seconds in the notorious anti-Islam film has a copyright interest in the picture. This question is important to filmmakers because it’s often not possible to get a release from everyone in the picture. So the IPAT Clinic participated in drafting an amicus brief in the case, explaining why such a ruling could be devastating to independent filmmakers. And the court listened! “As filmmakers warn,” the court wrote, “low-budget films rarely use licenses…. And filming group scenes like a public parade, or the 1963 March on Washington, would pose a huge burden if each of the thousands of marchers could claim an independent copyright.”
We had a great time talking with Kirby Ferguson today about his masterful Everything is a Remix series and Fair Use! Happy #fairuseweek everybody!
Professor Jack Lerner, director of the Clinic, wrote a blog post last December after the oral argument in the closely-watched “Innocence of Muslims” case, Garcia v. Google. The Clinic co-authored an amicus brief in the case on behalf of the International Documentary Association.