Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Quick Hits

Google just released their latest photo editing suite, Picasa 2.0. Among other tools, it makes it easier to publish your photos on Blogger.

The Globe and Mail published a piece on how copyright law is affecting documentary film making. Libraries and historical footage archives have found copyright protection to be a source of income. The results, presented in a timely fashion on MLK, Jr. day in America, are that films such as Eyes on the Prize (a documentary of the USA civil rights struggles of the 60s) can no longer be sold or broadcast anywhere. The filmakers, who struggled to raise the money to produce the project, only purchased the rights to use some of the documentary footage for up to 5 years. That has long ago expired. They cannot raise the money to re-use the footage to produce DVDs to replace those worn VHS copies that have been deteriorating in public schools where they are still widely used. This is a crime, IMO.

As the award-winning filmmaker Katy Chevigny says in the American University report: "The only film you can make for cheap and not have to worry about rights clearance is about your grandma, yourself or your dog."

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