There’s no better way to brainwash impressionable young filmmakers than a contest with a cash prize! The Video Software Dealers Association (“VSDA”), a not-for-profit trade association of retailers and distributors, has created Project: FAIR (Filmmakers Against Illegal Replication) and is sponsoring an Anti-Piracy PSA Contest. (First prize: $1,000 scholarship/stipend plus a trip to Las Vegas.) It’s a blatant attempt, of course, to muddy the issues of fair use and downloadable content, getting student filmmakers on board the industry’s anti-piracy crusade under the guise of “Help Stop Movie Theft!”
I’d like to see some student filmmakers submit some mash-ups of major Hollywood video releases. Oh wait, might that be a copyright issue?
In the fine print, the contest rules explicitly warn young filmmakers: “Even though you will dedicate your work to the public domain, it is essential that all related clearances and permissions be obtained prior to submission. Forms and a checklist are provided for inclusion with your submission, and you will warrant that you have obtained all applicable clearances.”
Welcome kids to the world of corporate clearance issues.