There's a lot of talk these days about the fine line between safety and freedom. Safety concerns have led to the Patriot Act and made a nail file and other toiletries potentially dangerous instruments when flying the once-friendly skies. In the more electronic realm, there's the uproar from the RIAA over music piracy from mix tapes to mp3 downloading, and of course, the MPAA has their own global neighborhood watch for film piracy. But then there's the question of copyright. While the laws are there to protect creative endeavors, they're also meaning the end of some.

The Documentary Organization of Canada has released a survey paper detailing the disconnect between the needs of documentary film and the demands of copyright. The paper explains a number of problems -- the cost to get copyrights is now taking up around 27% of a doc's budget; history and the arts are areas too pricey to delve into due to the rising prices of music and archival footage; and many films are being taken from distribution because of limited license agreements. In 2005, that paper reports that 9 films were withdrawn from distribution due to copyright expense. What may be even more surprising is that a majority of respondents were not only creators themselves, but also said that current laws overcompensate creators and discourage the production of documentaries. Hopefully some sort of middle ground can be found. Docs already have to fight for a share of the fictional film booty, and for every March of the Penguins, there's a multitude of great films that never see the light of day. And while this survey of films, and filmmaker's rights, was commissioned in Canada, it raises some interesting questions for any filmmaker in any nation who wants to see their story told. ...

[via BoingBoing]
categories Movies, Cinematical