Copyright education in screen art studies in the Digital age
Mariyana Lazarova, National Academy for Theater and Film Arts \"Krustyo Sarafov\" /NATFA/ (Bulgaria)
The Digital age inspires numerous challenges in front of creators from the audio visual sector. The production costs are dramatically reduced and the distribution channels are multiplied. Everyone now can make a movie, upload it on You Tube and be an artist. These opportunities increase the danger of unauthorized use and copyright infringement. In this context, the right holders and users should have basic intellectual property knowledge.
The present survey aims to outline the effective ways and proper methodology to teach copyright law in Screen arts. The structure of lecture courses should combine theory with practice. As an introduction, some key copyright concepts should be clarified. It is important to reveal the nature of the audio visual works as legally protected objects and to differentiate them from other commercial videos.
Next step is the identification of the holders of copyright and neighboring rights, exploring their legal essence, terms of protection and cases of fair use. The focus is placed on the dual status of the film producer as a bearer of related rights and a primary user.
Following the clarification of the so called statics of copyrights, the students are ready to study the dynamics of rights – i.e. the variety of licensing practices. The advanced methods of content distribution and relevant business models are thoroughly examined. This particular segment of the educational program should be most pragmatic and practically oriented and the students deal with individual film projects. They make up an annotation and list all rights holders for concluding a contract for the creation and subsequent use of the audio visual work. Afterwards they independently draw a customized draft of license agreement under the supervision of a lecturer. The evaluation and self-assessment of the achieved results is obligatory, especially for the future film producers and art managers.
The media convergence and the technological boom during Digital epoch require reconciling theory with practice in the training process, which contributes to improve professional qualification and to adopt ethical principles that are the foundations of the civilized world, since Baruch Spinoza wrote his works and even long before him.