Copyright plays a supporting role in a Griffith film course

Did you know Information Services was involved in the creation of an online course for Griffith’s Film School? Information Policy Officer, Antony Ley lent his copyright expertise to the development of the online Asia Pacific Film course.

The course covers cinema from China (Hong Kong, Mainland, Taiwan), Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia), Japan, India, and Western Asia (Turkey, Iran, Israel, Lebanon) as well as Australia.

Convened by Dr Margaret McVeigh, the online Asia Pacific Film course was developed by Dr Anne Demy-Geroe, in consultation with Phillip Cheah.

With over 100 online presentations, complemented by 15 full feature films, 150 plus film clips, and multiple interviews with Asia Pacific directors, the course presented unique copyright opportunities and challenges.

According to Antony, the ‘inclusion of so many film clips was integral to the course, and of particular concern to the course developers.

‘Given the nature of the films and clips, most were not available under commercial licence or were not covered by existing database licences’.

So how did they obtain the film clips? Antony said some of the films were ordered from other Universities and used under Part VA of the Copyright Act (Screenrights licence), some used under Section 49 (Criticism and Review), and some under the recently added “Special Case Exception” (s200AB) of the Copyright Act.

‘Fortunately, many of the directors, actors and producers personally gave Anne pre-release copies (which had no technological protection) at Film festivals she ran and attended’.

‘So the Technological Protection Measures sections in the Copyright Act which often frustrate the use of s200AB, were not applicable to the majority of the content under consideration,’ Antony said.

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