January 26, 2005

Eyes on the Screen 

posted by Paul Smith @ 8:53 PM
The incomparable agents provocateur at Downhill Battle are engaging in some wholly justified civil disobediance with "Eyes on the Screen":
According to some, it's illegal for makers of the civil rights documentary "Eyes on the Prize" to put it on DVD or show it in public? But at 8:00 PM on February 8th during Black History Month, Downhill Battle (downhillbattle.org) is encouraging Americans to celebrate the struggle and triumph of the civil rights movement with screenings of "Eyes on the Prize" in homes and public places with the goal of having a screening in every major city in America. The campaign is called Eyes on the Screen.

"Eyes on the Prize" is the most comprehensive and revered civil rights documentary ever made. But the documentary has not been available for public viewing for the past 10 years because of unreasonable copyright laws that impose stifling restrictions on artists and filmmakers. In one instance, copyright holders believe they should receive licensing fees for the song "Happy Birthday," which appears in footage of a group of people singing to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"To celebrate Black History Month, we believe that "Eyes on the Prize" should be seen by as many people as possible," says Tiffiniy Cheng of Downhill Battle. "The civil rights movement is just too important for this invaluable resource to be denied to the public. So, we're going to help distribute "Eyes on the Prize" to a mass audience and communities can have screenings."

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