clearance culture

In an interesting article The Globe and Mail explores the difficulties especially documentary film makers face due to changing copyright laws which make clearance and even re-clearance for elder documentaries almost unaffordable. (via)

Some are calling this the new “clearance culture,” in which access to copyrights affects the creation of new art as much as, if not more than, actual artistic and journalistic decisions. It also means that access to copyrighted footage is only open to those filmmakers with the deepest pockets (or many lawyers on their side). …
“In a culture that increasingly has trouble separating the real thing from something that’s made up, I think that having the real photographic record of real events on television screens in our living rooms is priceless. It’s invaluable. And it’s becoming increasingly difficult,” he says, adding that he doesn’t feel comfortable with the idea that creative decisions should have to be based purely on the basis of copyright rules.

Having in mind that the ‘real photographic record’ already became a very sophisticated subject with many layers of covering and uncovering what might be the ‘truth’ behind it, the practices described in this article reveal further power relations and thus nebulous ways used to work around the subject. Eventhough the later might be a relevant creative practice, it thus becomes a mere and restricted (as highly regulated) substitution to show the ‘unviewable’ which then consequently deeply influences our perceptive strategies.

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