Infographic: Doc Filmmakers Embrace Fair Use

The Story

In the past, fair use was nothing but a nice idea.

Fair use of copyrighted material is a right under copyright law. But it used to be that filmmakers who claimed fair use in their work risked lawsuits, fees, damaged reputations, and rejection by broadcasters and distributors. Fear kept most filmmakers from relying on fair use, which severely limited creative expression.

Things began to change in 2005, after the Center for Media & Social Impact released the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use. In the Statement, filmmakers found a collective authority to back up their fair use claims.

Over the past decade, the right to fair use has been steadily gaining acceptance and recognition – and a new study released by the Center today shows us just how much. Check out the infographic below, or read the full report here.

The Infographic

For anyone out there looking to create your own infographic, I’d advise against using online tools like or Piktochart. These have extremely limited graphics and layouts and add unwanted branding to your work. You can easily make your own infographic in Illustrator, which I used for the one below and love, or Photoshop. Can’t draw? Not a problem! Sites like offer free graphics that you can use and adapt for any project, even commercial ones.

This infographic was originally posted on the Center for Media & Social Impact website.

Fair Use in Documentary infographic


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