This essay substantiates fair use of two archival clips of congressional hearings in a Laura Poitras’s documentary film, Citizenfour4. My arguments are not based on specific permission details, or any court case between the copyright owners and Laura Poitras. My views rely on section 107 of US copyrights law7, which defines a four-factor test for fair use. In addition to using the four-factor test, my arguments draw on best practices in fair use.
1.1 Potential Fact Situation Citizenfour discusses the life of exiled Edward Snowden, who disclosed confidential information from the National Security Agency. The documentary incorporated a clip showing Democratic Congressman, Hank Johnson questioning the former NSA Director, Keith…show more content… Therefore, I examined fair use, case by case. Cases that would have been a similar issue of dispute, if C-SPAN had decided to sue Laura Poitras, were used to denote court decisions only. Having considered the four-factor tests, and filmmaker's best practices, I maintain that fair use is established beyond reasonable doubt by Laura Poitras’s use of C-SPAN's copyrighted archival footage in her documentary film.
1. Amsinck v. Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., 862 F.Supp. 1044, 1050 (S.D.N.Y. 1994).
2. Arica Institute, Inc. v. Palmer, 761 F.Supp. 1056, 1067 (S.D.N.Y.1991), aff’d, 970 F.2d 1067 (2d Cir.1992).
3. Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use. (2005, November).
Retrieved from http://www.cmsimpact.org/fair-use/best-practices/documentary/documentary- filmmakers-statement-best-practices-fair-use
4. Ehrlich, D. (2014, October 13). The Edward Snowden doc Citizenfour is less film than monumental event. Retrieved from http://www.avclub.com/review/edward-snowden-doc-citizenfour-less- film-monumenta-210751
5. Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539, 105 S.Ct. 2218, 85 L.Ed.2d 588 (1985).
6. Monster Communications, Inc. v. Turner Broadcasting Sys. Inc., 935 F. Supp. 490 (S.D. N.Y. 1996).
7. U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101 –