>===== Original Message From firstname.lastname@example.org =====
>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
>January 26, 2005
>Eyes on the Screen
>"Eyes on the Prize", Civil Rights Documentary, To Be
>Released Over the Internet Despite Copyright Disputes
>A day of public screenings of the legendary documentary,
>to be organized for February 8th, 2005
>According to some, it's illegal for makers of the civil
>rights documentary "Eyes on the Prize" to put it on DVD or
>show it in public. But at 8:00 PM on February during Black
>History Month, Downhill Battle (downhillbattle.org) is
>encouraging Americans to celebrate the struggle and triumph
>of the civil rights movement with screenings of "Eyes on the
>Prize" in homes and public places with the goal of having a
>screening in every major city in America. The campaign is
>called Eyes on the Screen.
>"Eyes on the Prize" is the most comprehensive and revered
>civil rights documentary ever made. But the documentary has
>not been available for public viewing for the past 10 years
>because of unreasonable copyright laws that impose stifling
>restrictions on artists and filmmakers. In one instance,
>copyright holders believe they should receive licensing fees
>for the song "Happy Birthday," which appears in footage of a
>group of people singing to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
>"To celebrate Black History Month, we believe that "Eyes
>on the Prize" should be seen by as many people as possible,"
>says Tiffiniy Cheng of Downhill Battle. "The civil rights
>movement is just too important for this invaluable resource
>to be denied to the public. So, we're going to help
>distribute "Eyes on the Prize" to a mass audience and
>communities can have screenings."
>"Eyes on the Prize is one of the most effective
>documentaries ever put together that dealt with civic
>engagement," says civil rights leader Lawrence Guyot. "This
>is analogous to stopping the circulation of all the books
>about Martin Luther King, stopping the circulation of all
>the books about Malcolm X, stopping the circulation of books
>about the founding of America... I would call upon everyone
>who has access to 'Eyes on the Prize' to openly violate any
>and all laws regarding its showing."
>"Eyes on the Prize" is an award-winning 14-volume
>documentary made by the late Henry Hampton, tracking the
>Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1965. Clayborne Carson, a
>Stanford University history professor, has said, "It is the
>principal film account of the most important American social
>justice movement of the 20th century" (Wired News, 12/22/04).
>"Eyes on the Prize" was the first introduction to the
>history of the Civil Rights Movement for millions of
>people," says Nicholas Reville of Downhill Battle, "But our
>corporatized copyright system is keeping it locked away."
>"The situation of "Eyes on the Prize" is a perfect example
>of why copyright law isn't working for the public," says
>Cheng. "It's ridiculous that this documentary is languishing
>in copyright purgatory, instead of being shown in classrooms.
>"Eyes on the Screen" is a perfect example of how people can
>bring attention to bad copyright law and start turning the
>For background, see this article:
>Former Leader of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
>Co-Director of Downhill Battle
>Co-Director of Downhill Battle
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