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NY Times: The Hidden Costs of Documentaries

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire October 18, 2005 at 7:0AM

Today, anyone armed with a video camera and movie-editing software can make a documentary. But can everyone afford to make it legally? Clearance costs - licensing fees paid to copyright holders for permission to use material like music, archival photographs and film and news clips - can send expenses for filmmakers soaring into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nancy Ramsey reports.
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Today, anyone armed with a video camera and movie-editing software can make a documentary. But can everyone afford to make it legally? Clearance costs - licensing fees paid to copyright holders for permission to use material like music, archival photographs and film and news clips - can send expenses for filmmakers soaring into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nancy Ramsey reports.