Media Rights Law & Best Practice

Yes, Oscar is baffling sometimes but he’s got a great gig. Oscar entertains opinions about entertainers from the [more or less] entertained. It doesn’t get much better than that.

But. Wait.

Django is in the room. Right here in River City. In your face mutha—–. I saw the film in a theater in Arlington, Virginia, about 4 miles from the White House. Samuel Jackson’s character, Steven (fetchit?) dishes out another take on the other Big House and…what? Uh, I really can’t make this an arty critique. As an American Indian, I am familiar with the light, tiny, and acceptable cinematic connections to malignant realities of history. But Django is a nuke among cherry bombs.

This film is so gripping it’s almost a crime. The row of Anglo men sitting in front of me let out a few nervous laughs here and there but not the guffaws a Bruce Willis might have elicited. Over the top and direct, non-fiction fictionalized and hardened for penetrating deeply into the defenses of the souls beyond souls, Quentin Tarantino has seemed to have succeeded in bringing a true, hidden (for Americans would have and did, butcher any man of color in 1858 who had any pretensions at parity or lethal weapons too) diary or letter to life. The carcass of many a western will lay steaming out on the frozen prairie for genres to come.

Except not nominated this year by my little couch-potato buddy, a film as real, no wait, more? real, as gripping, as Django; Frank Martin’s For The Love of Liberty which I coincidentally screened at a Social Media Week forum Friday in the Pentagon area. Though an “official” documentary you might see at a National Park or on he History Channel, it up and joined the formation and buzzed the status quo too. That being the comfy exclusion of the lives of Colored men and women who were, and are, “Django” incarnate.

The Harlem Volunteer Battalion who assembled and went to fight in France in WW!, then were refused a chance to join ‘American” (white) volunteers heard Django’s pal Dr. Schultz in the French army‘s welcome to join them. They fought and died in French uniforms, with French rifles, and learned French-style freedom.

They listened when an American general informed the French that they mustn’t make a mistake, that these men though Americans, were Negroes and shouldn’t  get any crazy ideas about equality from leurs comrades because they sure wouldn’t have it when or if they made it back home!

So sometimes Oscar gets close to getting it right, at least in my opinion. My viewpoint is my own and we all have ours. Some  of these nominees are silly, some are not but I’m glad to see some meat on the table. Thanks Quentin.

Media Seen Too blog is solely the creation of Russ Imrie, an American Indian DC area resident. I also blog on tech and politics at supTweet and contribute occasionally to the China Daily Mail blog

American University updates media managers and libraries on latest law and best practices on lawful use of copyrighted materials for legitimate purposes.

Russ Imrie October 2013

Lawyers, authors, journalists, and librarians are among the often misinformed on the extent law and practice supports legitimate, good-faith inclusion of copyrighted material in today’s digital environment.

It sounds crazy, but copyright lawyers will, without actually reading or viewing a given complete media resource as to its need to include specific releases or permissions, will just say “no, get permissions and come back.” This is often unnecessary under law and discourages the nurturing intent of the “fair use” principal.

Librarians, out of an uninformed concern of infringement penalties, suits, etc. will decline to undertake a project or advise someone who asks (of course!) the librarian if using a resource or image is ok to stop. Often the librarian at a university is the go-to authority on these questions. This has a wide impact on authors and researchers.

When I continue this post I’ll discuss expert information in this easily-cloned world of media and publications.

Meanwhile. check out the Center for Social Media at American University in Washington DC where guidelines are available for download. Strong on film and library issues, the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic Research Libraries, Code of Best Practices in Fair Use fir Media Literacy Education, and the Documentary Filmmaker’s Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use should be read and used to guide your projects.

l. to r. Brandon Butler ( Association of Research Libraries), unidentified, Peter Jazzi (Prof of Law AU), Patricia Aufderheide (Prof AU School of Communication) - photo Russ Imrie

l. to r. Brandon Butler ( Association of Research Libraries), unidentified, Peter Jaszi (Prof of Law AU), Patricia Aufderheide (Prof AU School of Communication) – photo Russ Imrie


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