• poptones

    How terribly ironic. More “free culture” press lamenting the inability of those big mean and nasty corporations to provide reasonable accomodations to small film makers – as the film makers themselves help propogate the strangehold of those very corporations!

    Reading this piece I get the impression the soundtrack of this film is not simply natural sound – that is, the dancers may not be dancing in the film to the exact music they were dancing to when the scene was filmed. So why does she willingly play the game of those who insist on writing their own rules?

    I am sitting here right now enjoying “Cherniy Voron” – a song off Hi-Fi’s wonderful album “Reprodukcija” (Reproduction). I would bet she could have licensed this entire album from the artists for just a few hundred dollars and both “Cherniy Voron” and the track before it “Arabika” are definitely danceable (in fact many reading this have likely heard “Arabika” in dance clubs without realizing it).

    When I go shopping for music, my first stop is Magnatune. She could have licensed a dozen songs for her film as easily as purchasing CDs on Amazon, and at very reasonable fees. There are talented artists at Magnatune who likely would have not only licensed their online catalog of music to this film maker at a reasonable fee, but may have even gone to the trouble of creating an original work or two for her because of the potential exposure it could have brought them as fellow artists.

    Is it really necessary to leave in the beep-beep of someone’s cell phone ringing the theme to Rocky? It could have been replaced by anything and no one would know better. She could easier have chosen a public domain work that fit the pesonality of the owner of the phone and kept the money for herself, or better still donated it to the EFF.

    Sorry, but I still cannot find one bit of sympathy for those who rail against “the permission culture” while they try to co-opt it. If you want change stop enabling them. Culture is not something forced upon you, it is a choice made by each of us.

    You don’t want to be a sharecropper? Leave the farm.

  • Erika

    poptones, I do not think that in this case the film maker could have just chosen some music and used that in her film. If you go back to the article, you will notice that Sewell said that they took the list of songs the competition was going to use, saw which ones they could clear, and asked that they just used those. It did not sound like the film makers were in a position to choose a whole new list of music.

    I think that point generally holds true in documentaries. If the goal is to capture real life, you want to use the music that people would use in real life, and, for better or for worse, the music people use in real life tends to have its rights owned by the big players.

  • Paul Gowder

    It appears that even the Library of Congress has permissions problems. In trying to distribute the Hannah Arendt papers online (surely nothing that anyone will be getting rich from), they ran into “formidable copyright challenges given the quantity and complexity of the materials involved.” (above link)

    As a result, those highly important and utterly unsalable papers, even though they are all digitized, are only available to the public in their entirety in three physical locations: the Library of Congress, New School, and the University of Oldenburg.

    Scandal.

  • kipling

    Very interesting post and thread!