New Copyright Rules for Filmmakers and Students
The Library of Congress added five new exemptions to its Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) yesterday. The DMCA is a US copyright law that criminalizes attempts to bypass digital copyrights. Originally passed in 1998, the act is revisited every three years, with new exceptions added based on changing technology. PC World has a precise overview of the new exemptions, the top one for us being the use of copyrighted material on DVD:
“College professors and students, documentary filmmakers, and those making noncommercial videos, are now able to circumvent the copyright protection on DVDs in order to use short clips from those DVDs in new works “for the purpose of criticism or comment.” The exemption was previously in place for professors, but has now been expanded to include students and filmmakers. The exception does not allow for users to copy whole works, or for individuals to create backups of DVDs they personally own[.]“
Don’t get too crazy about this. Note the “noncommercial” language as well as the “criticism or comment” aspect of the use. Still, a huge break for documentary filmmakers, students, and professors! Who said copyright law was unfair? You can also view the Library of Congress’ Newsletter covering this topic here.