No Free Samples for Documentaries: Seeking Film Clips With the Fair-Use Doctrine
by ELAINA DUTKA
The New York Times, publication date: 28 May 2006
"'We're taking on the fight not only with 'Wanderlust' but also with the upcoming 'This Film Is Not Yet Rated,' ' said Mr. Shapiro, referring to a clip-dependent critique of the film ratings system set for release in theaters later this year. 'That was made, from the start, under the fair-use doctrine, as all of our documentaries will be from now on.'
Mr. Donaldson began contacting the studios at the Berlin film festival in February, initiating talks that dragged on for months. Accept $1,000 a title, he said, or IFC will move ahead anyway. Though Paramount held firm, 13 of the 18 copyright holders accepted the offer, including Sony Pictures Entertainment, MGM, Universal Studios, Miramax Films and Warner Brothers Entertainment, whose price was cut from $149,850 to $8,000. In the end the clips cost IFC less than $50,000. The holdouts advised IFC to rely on the fair-use argument, which, after viewing the film, they said they might legally challenge. (Mr. Shapiro is ramping up his insurance and putting away money in case that happens.)"