Author: Michael C. Donaldson
ISBN: 978-1-879505-98-8
Publisher: Silman-James Press

 Click Here To Purchase Clearance & Copyright: Everything You Need to Know for Film and Television

Entertainment Attorney Michael C. Donaldson’s third edition of Clearance & Copyright should be considered as the Bible of information pertaining to copyright law. He has crafted a guidebook that encompasses the entire scope of modern day copyright law pertaining to almost every conceivable rights issue that filmmakers, videomakers, and television producers might encounter. It is little wonder that more than fifty film schools in the United States and Europe and even a few law schools use it as well as large film studios, television networks, cable channels, and countless attorneys.

What readers receive is Donald’s thirty years of experience covering the fundamental principles and laws pertaining to fair use, parody, satire, jokes, public domain, characters, costumes, acquiring the rights to someone else’s property, hiring scriptwriters, writing with a partner, buying someone else’s completed script, agreements, registering copyrights, photographs, trademarks, logos, business signage, sets, set dressing, clearing music, hiring a composer, clearing film clips, title clearance, insurance, infringement, Internet, and international copyright.  All of these subjects are organized in an easy to read chronological order in which you would encounter in the film and publishing industry. And as Donaldson states: “nothing is overly esoteric here.” In other words, you can actually understand him without breaking your head! In addition, Donaldson provides his readers with references to important cases, important forms and agreements, his personal commentaries, and other documentation that can also be downloaded from sites he mentions.  

Particularly informative is the chapter on Fair Use wherein Donaldson includes a Table of a Summary of Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use. The table divides itself into three categories, Class, Use and Limit dealing with four situations, employing copyright material as the object of social, political, or cultural critique, quoting copyright works of popular culture to illustrate an argument or point, capturing copyrighted media content in the process of filming something else, and using copyright material in an historical sequence. Within these sections Donaldson comments on each of these important elements providing concrete examples.  Another very useful chapter is the step-by-step guide to registering copyright of your script that includes precise instructions. What more can you ask?    

Also included is an entire chapter devoted to Legal Referral Services, as well as an extensive glossary of the many terms used throughout the book. In addition, there is a Table of Forms and where to find them in the book, Table of Cases, Film and Television Shows Mentioned in the Book, and a comprehensive index.  

There is no doubt that the detailed research and breadth of information Donaldson presents is remarkable and for anyone who may be directly or indirectly involved with copyright, this is a must read and a book to keep.

Donaldson’s credentials include service on the Advisory Committee for the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use, and he serves on the Advisory Committee of the Standard Fair Use Project. In addition to Clearance & Copyright (Third Edition) he has authored E-Z Legal Guide to Trademarks & Copyright, Negotiating for Dummies and Fearless Negotiating.

Click Here To Read Norm's Interview With Michael C. Donaldson

Click Here To Purchase Clearance & Copyright: Everything You Need to Know for Film and Television