This Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use
is necessary because documentary fi lmmakers
have found themselves, over the last decade,
increasingly constrained by demands to clear
rights for copyrighted material. Creators in other
disciplines do not face such demands to the
same extent, and documentarians in earlier eras
experienced them less often and less intensely.
Today, however, documentarians believe that
their ability to communicate effectively is
being restricted by an overly rigid approach to
copyright compliance, and that the public suffers
as a result. The knowledge and perspectives that
documentarians can provide are compromised
by their need to select only the material that
copyright holders approve and make available at
At the same time, documentarians are themselves
copyright holders, whose businesses depend on
the willingness of others to honor their claims
as copyright owners. They do not countenance
exploitative or abusive applications of fair use,
which might impair their own businesses or
betray their work.
Therefore, documentarians through their
professional organizations, supported by an
advisory board of copyright experts, now offer
the statement that follows.
VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.