CUNY COMPosition & Rhetoric Community

IP Path to Green Light Sample Assignment

Sean Molloy (23 Aug. 2014).

Bound By Law? describes the intellectual property concerns faced by documentary filmmakers who must “clear rights” to everything they use or risk having their work remain unpublished.  You face the same hurdle as you prepare to publish your movie to youtube or some other internet platform.  Youtube, for example, will scan your movie for content owned or claimed by other people as soon as you upload it– even if you mark it private.  If youtube finds such content, it may refuse to publish your movie, or may strip out elements (like music) or may allow content owners to monetize your movie– putting commercials in your movie to pay them.  Or the content owners may wait and monitor your site.

To avoid these problems, you can “clear rights” to your movie in advance.  You use what you already own, you can shoot and record your own new elements, you can borrow elements that are in the public domain (no one owns them anymore) or you can use materials that owners are willing to share, like clip art or creative commons images and music. For creative commons materials, check that you follow the terms of each license.

Use my Pathway to IP Green Light to “clear rights” to help your movie.  Refer back to the Bound By Law? pages suggested by the chart if some issues are unclear.

Then write up an IP analysis of your movie (maybe 300 to 500 words) that considers the issues you face in your project.