1/20/22: Virtual Talks with Video Activists: “Other People’s Footage”

A virtual/screening discussion with filmmakers Diane Carson and Robert Johnson, Jr., moderated by intellectual property lawyer Dale Nelson.

A full replay of the January 20th event.

On Thursday, January 20th, at 6 pm Central Time, Media Burn Archive will host filmmakers Diane Carson and Robert Johnson, Jr. for a virtual screening and discussion of their film series Other People’s Footage. The event will be moderated by intellectual property lawyer Dale Nelson.

Other People’s Footage 1.5: Copyright & Fair Use uses on-camera interviews with 19 noted documentarians including Haskell Wexler, Skip Blumberg, and Yvonne Welbon along with several legal experts to examine the three questions crucial to determining fair use exemptions for documentary filmmakers. The documentary presents illustrative examples from nonfiction films that use pre-existing footage, music and sound from other individuals’ creations—without permission or paying fees.

Other People’s Footage 2.0: Fair Use in Scripted Films explores legal fair use exemptions for scripted, narrative films. Through on-camera interviews with experienced entertainment lawyers and noted film professionals, this documentary illustrates the application of fair use through numerous feature film examples. OPF 2.0 also clarifies legalities regarding parody, trademark, on-location shooting, set dressing and props.


Robert Johnson, Jr. is co-founder and co-chair of the University Film and Video Association’s (UFVA) Documentary Working Group (DWG) caucus, served for many years as jury chair of the Carole Fielding Grants Committee, and was elected to the UFVA Board of Directors in 2006. He contributed three biographies to the African-American National Biography, has been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, the Rutgers University, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Royal Society of Chemistry in London, England. He received a preservation grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation and was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Grant to teach documentary filmmaking in Rwanda.His most recent documentary is No Short Climb: Race Workers” & America’s Defense Technology.


Diane Carson is Past President of the University Film and Video Association, 2008 to 2010. She is Professor Emerita of St. Louis Community College at Meramec where she taught film studies and production for over three decades. She served as assistant director and co-writer for Remembering Bonnie and Clyde, Turquoise Productions,1995, that aired on PBS. Diane served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Film and Video and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ (SCMS) Cinema Journal.


Dale Nelson is a Partner at Donaldson, Callif, Perez LLP. Dale joined the firm in 2019 as a clearance and intellectual property law specialist. Prior to joining the firm, Dale spent over 25 years as in-house counsel to Warner Bros., most recently as Vice President and Senior Intellectual Property Counsel. The intellectual properties she managed included franchise properties such as Harry Potter and DC Comics, new feature and television series, and library classics. Dale has a particular expertise in international laws relating to copyright, trademark, rights of publicity, moral rights, free speech and fair use.



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