The War Game 1/5





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Uploaded on Nov 12, 2009

The War Game is an Academy Award-winning documentary on nuclear warfare that was made by Peter Watkins in 1965 and was subsequently suppressed by the BBC until 1985. It remains largely unknown despite its historical importance, its high quality, and the looming gravity of its subject.

Speaking of censorship, the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107 states:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

With regards to the first factor, this is indeed being used for non-profit educational purposes (it's a documentary on a free website). With regards to the second, in Time Inc. v. Bernard Geis Associates the court ruled that public interest is one of the factors involved in establishing fair use. As the documentary itself makes clear, it is in the public interest for there to a much better understanding by the public of nuclear war, and while this documentary is not the only way of educating the public, there is such a large gap between it and the alternatives that the facilitation condition in the third sentence of paragraph 134 of the above decision clearly applies. Moreover, in a democracy it is also clearly in the public interest to combat censorship. Peter Watkins supports the dissemination of his documentary; it was the British government, via the BBC, that suppressed it for decades and that would be making any claims of copyright infringement today. With regards to the third, it is well known that complete reproductions may be considered fair use if other factors are strong enough. With regards to the fourth, the more dissemination this gets, the more people know about the documentary, and the more people that know about it, the more are likely to buy it.

My uploading it is therefore consistent with fair use.

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