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i am not a stuffed tiger.

another nyt story : documentaries

This is also kind of amazing and depressing, too. A story about how ridiculously expensive it can be to include even short snippets of media in documentaries.
Had the ringtone been a common telephone ring, the scene could have dropped into the final edit without a hitch, the moment providing a quick bit of emotional texture to the film. But EMI Music Publishing, which owns the rights to "Gonna Fly Now," was asking the first-time producer for $10,000 to use those six seconds. [nyt]
From the sounds of it, things are getting tougher for filmmakers as the documentary form has increasingly commercially viable. Naturally, there's even an example of the high price of "Happy Birthday."

Despite the apparent idiocy of this, rights management did play a part in one of the few moments of minor victory on for the Lisa Kudrow character on the Comeback.

Comments

It seems like this sort of thing is great fodder for Fair Use reform, though. After all, the success of the picture isn't at all dependent on (in this case) the lame-ass ringtone. That isn't going to impact sales in any discernable way, therefore it should fall under Fair Use.
You'd think so, but unfortunately the people making the films are often to be the sort who are short of legal resources to fight the rights holders.
I ranted about this over at Althouse. I said my piece, and the person disagreeing with me said their piece, so I left it at that, because dragging it out in someone else's comment section feels impolite.

But god damn these people make me livid. The right-wingers over there don't get to any more but RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH.

That's it, i'm going back in. Damn you.