Sound and vision blog

19 August 2011

Film, copyright and the internet: a guide for producers

More filmy things going on at the British Library in September, with this event taking place in our business and IP Centre:

Film, copyright and the internet: a guide for producers

Wed 07 September 2011, 14.00 - 16.30

Who should attend? Film and TV makers
Place: British Library Business & IP Centre
Cost: £25.00 + VAT
How to Book: Book your place online

As a film maker, you need to understand how copyright works: who owns the rights, what forms of protection against infringement are given and how the rights are transferred and traded. Copyright law has to a large extent been harmonised around the world, but variations still exist, particularly on dealing with infringement.

The Internet has dramatically changed the way in which films are viewed or purchased and has expanded the market, not just for new films but back-catalogue movies and TV shows which formerly disappeared at the end of their DVD life. However, the problem of Internet piracy undermines the normal system of film distribution, and the borderless nature of the Internet confounds copyright law and frequently makes it impossible for film-makers to control the exploitation of their films.

What about the wider impact on creativity? Copyright law developed to enable the creator of a work to benefit financially from its exploitation, and thereby to encourage creative endeavour in general. Does the Internet undermine this basic principle? When a producer sees the potential box office revenues diminished significantly because their film has been leaked onto the Internet prior to its theatrical release, will they go to the same lengths a second time to get a film produced?

In this workshop we will analyse the impact of Internet piracy on the film world and discuss whether anything effective is being done to address the problem.

The event will cover:

  • General background on copyright in the UK, including what constitutes infringement of copyright and the remedies available to copyright owners.
  • General background on the film industry and how copyright relates to filmed entertainment.
  • The impact of the Internet on the film industry, with case studies of Internet piracy.
  • Reaction to the problem of Internet piracy from both industry and government, both internationally and in the UK.


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