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SCHED* SXSW 2011 has ended
avatar for Michael Donaldson

Michael Donaldson

Partner
Donaldson & Callif LLP
Michael C. Donaldson is an entertainment attorney who has been fighting for independent filmmakers for over thirty years. The December 2011 ABA Journal dubbed him the “’legal Obi Wan Kenobi’ and fair use guru of the documentary film set.” As President of the International Documentary Association, he negotiated with the cable networks to prevent the wholesale migration of credits from the screen to the internet by organizing and leading the Documentary Credit Coalition. He served on the Advisory Committee for the Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Stanford Fair Use Project. He also serves as General Counsel to Film Independent (home of the Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival) and the Writers Guild Foundation. He negotiated with insurance companies to offer fair use riders on the E&O insurance policies which allowed many films to be made under the fair use doctrine. He helped draft the Rome Resolution to harmonize Fair Use across the European Union. He filed with the Copyright Office, argued, and won an exemption to the DMCA; allowing Documentary Filmmakers to rip DVDs in order to gain access to public domain material and assets to be used in their documentary pursuant to fair use. He also filed Amicus briefs in various courts in support of filmmakers faced with issues concerning the community.

My Speaker Sessions

Tuesday, March 15
 

3:30pm CDT