Saturday, February 5, 2005
More on 'Eyes on the Prize.'
The award-winning series hasn't been aired in a decade or released commercially because of expired copyright licenses. In late January, members of Downhill Battle, a group of four young activists, appalled that there is so little access to the film, made a digitized copy of the series available through its website. They initially encouraged people to download it and hold screenings this Tuesday.
Downhill Battle created the "Eyes on the Screen" campaign to celebrate the series and to draw attention to the copyright laws that are keeping it from being seen on television or made into DVDs. "The goal of the campaign is that in Black History Month we wanted to make it available to a large public audience again," said Holmes Wilson, a codirector of Downhill Battle.
The problem for the activists is that the company that made "Eyes on the Prize," the Boston-based documentary film production company Blackside Inc., is set to renew those rights and views what Downhill Battle is doing as illegal and counterproductive to its own efforts.
"We appreciate that they are very enthusiastic about bringing 'Eyes' back to the public and making it accessible for the public to screen," said a Blackside lawyer, Sandy Forman, who is working to renew the series' copyrights. "However, the way they're doing this is unacceptable."
("'Eyes' Fight Focuses on Rights," Catherine Foster, Boston Globe 2.5.05)
In other Black History Month-related news: "Many black speakers shun February spotlight" because they feel they're ignored the other eleven months of the year (AP 2.5.05) and — news to me, although the suit has been underway for a while — a lawyer representing Rosa Parks is suing OutKast over the song "Rosa Parks," not one of my favorites (Washington Post 2.2.05, reg req'd).
Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 5 February 2005 at 11:48 AM