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July 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has condemned a decision by the Librarian of Congress that exempts documentary film makers and educators from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), allowing them to incorporate “short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment.” In a statement, MPAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Kaltman said, “The Librarian’s decision unnecessarily blurs the bright line established in the DMCA against circumvention of technical protection measures and undermines the DMCA.” But Jason Mittell, an associate professor of American studies and film and media culture in Middlebury College, noted that until now, a professor wanted to illustrate a lecture with scenes from a movie could do so only by cuing up the scenes individually on a DVD player. He told “It would be the equivalent of a literature professor who is only allowed to prepare one quote to read aloud per class, and if you want to read more than one, it will take you five minutes to get to it.” Michael Donaldson, an attorney for the International Documentary Association, told Home Media magazine said that the documentary filmmakers had come together in order to confront “this problem that hampered their work on a daily basis.”