Claudy Op den Kamp – Turning Your Film Into Mine. Filmmaking and the Quotation Exception

Research Seminar

Tuesday 11 February 2020, 16:00-18:00, F204

In the last few decades, digital tools have made copying someone else’s work extraordinarily easy, and new modes of creatively re-using existing material, such as compiling videos and ‘supercuts’, have become everyday practices. In 2014, new fair dealing exceptions were introduced in UK copyright law, allowing for expansion of the range of cultural production. Under these exceptions, it is possible—under certain circumstances and for specific purposes—to use copyright protected works without permission from the copyright owner. One of the new exceptions, the exception for quotation, is atypical, and of particular interest to filmmakers. The exception is the first ever exception in UK law that is not linked to a specific purpose—such as criticism and review—which has the ability to substantially expand the range of covered uses by the law.

This contribution will highlight filmmaking practices that show that quotation as a cultural practice is nothing new within the realm of film, but that it is as old as the medium itself: creatively, quotation can be seen to be integral to the filmmaking process—works often build on previous works by ‘quoting’ them. And that due to the absence of UK case law addressing the exception for quotation, there is a necessity to define quotation as broadly as possible (Bently, 2017). Otherwise, if the interpretation of quotation were limited to the way it is used within the textual paradigm, there is a danger that the breadth of the exception, and the freedom it offers to filmmakers, will be lost.


Claudy Op den Kamp is Senior Lecturer in Film and faculty member of CIPPM