The producers of the film “Eyes on the Prize”, a documentary on the Civil Rights Movement in America, could not afford to renew their rights to the copyrighted historical clips used in the making of the film. This means that this important piece of history is largely unavailable to those who want to learn. (Here’s BoingBoing’s original post on the subject.)
The “Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement” have written a powerful essay denouncing the inaccessibility of “Eyes of the Prize”:
To us, knowledge is a human right every bit as important as the right to vote and the right be treated with courtesy and respect. Therefore, we do not believe that reading, or viewing, or listening is, or should ever become, a crime. Nor should access to information become a luxury sold only to the wealthy.
I agree. It is completely stupid to deny people access to this information. More copies should be allowed to be produced. It should be on DVD. The film should be freely available at libraries and schools. That it isn’t is a sad commentary on the state of copyright law. (Via BoingBoing.)