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Important Copyright Guidelines for 2016 Festival Entries

Teaches and Students,
As you prepare your entries for the 48th Michigan Student Film Festival (April 23rd at the DIA's Detroit Film Theatre) please be advised of the following clarifications regarding copyright material.  We will be sharing more information soon, including Q&A material and even a talk show with an attorney!

DAFT thanks Roger Smith (Lake Orion HS) and the Michigan Scholastic Press Association for its assistance in clarifying for students and teachers the proper guidelines for copyright material, particularly songs and images.  (See MIPA's page at this link.)

"Photos, art and other such visuals plus various forms of music—on the Internet and elsewhere—are copyrighted, even if they don’t include the copyright character, “©” and the owner’s name. Getting the owner’s permission to use such materials is important unless the material qualifies as Fair Use or is in the public domain.

Audio or visuals as part of a broadcast entered for competition should include a statement certifying it is original student work, used with written permission or is believed to fall under fair use in copyright law.  Fair Use refers to the ability to print or broadcast materials that are copyrighted based on four factors:

  1. Purpose and character of use (i.e. non-commercial use like news reporting, teaching or reviewing);
  2. Nature of the work (e.g. factual work is more likely to fall under fair use than creative work, and published works are more likely to be used fairly than unpublished works);
  3. How much is used (i.e. looking at both quantity and quality of what is used;NOTE: There is no law stating music of less than 30 seconds is permissible to use.); 
  4. Effect of the use on commercial value of the original.

Use of apparently copyrighted materials without permission or a fair use argument as explained on the entry (e.g. photos from or or an artist’s soundtrack) will result in disqualification of the entry."



Kevin Walsh

DAFT President

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