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100th Blog: Fair Use, free trade, free use, fair trade: DAMN good coffee…and HOT!

100th Blog: Fair Use, free trade, free use, fair trade: DAMN good coffee...and HOT!

It’s been a busy month in Atlanta. We’ve locked the programming for The Atlanta Film Festival and we’re in the final stages of proofing the program guide.

We’ll be making major announcements very soon. A sneak peak was announced this past Friday in the Atlanta Journal Constitution

We are also busy finalizing plans for the IMAGE Annual Gala in April (IMAGE’s annual pre-festival fundraiser), and I’m proud to announce that this year we’ll be honoring John Sayles and Maggie Renzi with the Ossie Davis Award. (Past recipients have included Spike Lee and Cicely Tyson).

Other Gala guests of honor include Atlanta-based proucer (and former IMAGE board member) Will Packer (STOMP THE YARD), the Georgia Production Partnership, and Kenny Blank, Director of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. For info on the IMAGE Gala, visit us online.

After some posting some silly Anna Nicole and Britney blogs (Perez Hilton–LOOK OUT!!!), I felt I should post something serious and weighty for this, my 100th Blog.

I’ve been storing up stories, observations and articles sent by friends and colleagues all with the intention of posting them here for #100.

But with so much else going on–

(Did I mention “Rapid i Movement”….
..IMAGE’s answer to weekend filmmaking competitions?)

–I find I haven’t had the time to sit still long enough to gather my thoughts and write something significant about any of this.

So instead–I hereby unload these four items, in hopes they’ll stir, inspire, illumunate or rile.

(Oh and it’s also worth noting that both Variety and Hollywood Reporter have removed their subscription limitations for access to full stories on their Web sites…so, in other words…I no longer need to use my old AFI log-in to access variety stories online.)

1) Why has no one has picked-up on Dave McNary’s Variety article “Insurance for documentary ‘fair use'”?

“Inspired partly by “This Film Is Not Yet Rated,” a veteran showbiz insurer has started offering coverage for documakers, aimed at allowing free use of film clips.
Initiative by Media/Professional Insurance is designed to explicitly allow documentarians to retain coverage if they rely on the “fair use” doctrine, which holds that copyrighted material may be used without compensation if it’s for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research…Goal is to enable docus to contain clips without forcing filmmakers to pay hefty licensing or release fees. In the case of “This Film Is Not Yet Rated,” filmmaker Kirby Dick included 134 clips without paying fees, which would have probably run in the $10,000-$15,000 range for each clip.”

2) When “Wal-Mart Launches Video Download” as reported in Red Orbit, it’s time to realize that the future is here.

“Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, on Tuesday launched a web-based video download service in the United States, using its market clout to boast the delivery of online entertainment content at cheaper prices to U.S. families….The Wal-Mart online service, using Hewlett-Packard technology, will enable customers to download movies and TV shows directly to their personal computers for viewing on PCs, laptops and other media players.

With its marketing muscle, Wal-Mart’s latest foray into the burgeoning digital entertainment market will threaten the dominance of Apple’s iTunes online store, currently the No. 1 site for legal music and video downloads, not to mention its impact on a number of smaller competitors, industry analysts said.”

3) The Hollywood Reporter article, “IRS Ruling Stings Film Production,” may have a disproprtionate impact on Indie filmmakers.

“In a blow to the attempt to curtail runaway film production, an IRS ruling took effect Friday that threatens to severely undercut a tax credit designed to give financial incentives for movies made in the U.S…. The decision could also potentially hurt low-budget films that become hits as participations and residuals are paid on revenue the film earns. A big hit could cause the film to rise above the tax credit limit, triggering a fine or other retaliation by the IRS.”

4) I FINALLY got the opportunity to indulge in David Lynch’s brilliant INLAND EMPIRE, a haunting mobius strip of a film.

On my way out the theatre, half dazed, I picked up a post card emblazened with David Lynch’s grill. I did a double take to see whether his other new project: David Lynch Signature Cup Coffee, was a put-on. Slogan: “It’s all in the beans…and I’m just full of beans.”

Let’s hope it’s fair trade.

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