Bruce Conner's Report

From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Nov 18 2008 - 05:31:53 PST

As I must have noted on the list about 20 times already, the use of
film works in a classroom setting is governed by a federal law known
as the Teach Act, which explicitly states that such use is NOT a
violation of copyright law when the screening is 1) part of a
regularly scheduled class, 2) involves face to face instruction 3)
employs a legally obtained copy, 4) is not opened to the general
public, but restricted to the students registered in the class.

This is a separate statute than Fair Use, although one might
interpret the Fair Use statute to cover this situation as well. The
Fair Use statute is a set of relatively vague guidelines, leaving
specific interpretations to the courts. This makes it, as the
CulStuds folks would say, a site of struggle. Until recently this was
all on the side of the entertainment industry, but lately bottom up
activism led by The Center for Social Media at American University,
legal scholars like Larry Lessig, and academics including Henry
Jenkins and Kembrew McLeod have succeeded in broadening Fair use and
making the world safer for teachers and independent makers.

Anyone interested in copyright should go read this right now:

As i also must have noted about 20 times here already, independent
artists who think copyright law and a restrictive interpretation of
Fair Use protects them, don't understand either the law, or the
political economy of mass produced art-works. but I don't have time
to argue that again right now.

I will, however, note the absolutely crushing irony, the total
absurdity, of anyone making copyright claims about why one should NOT
show a Bruce Conner film, given that Conner made most of his major
works, including REPORT, using found footage without respect to the
copyright status of the images he appropriated. Conner was right when
he made the films. People who want to place restrictions on the
showing of such work, or prevent other artists from working in the
same manner, have their heads up their ass.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.