|Q1: Your film includes a content analysis research project for best selling and most rented pornographic movies. Please explain the methodology.
A: The sample of titles for this research was drawn from a list of 250 of the most rented VHS and DVD titles, as reported monthly by Adult Video News (AVN, 2005). The researchers selected the top 30 videos appearing on each list from December 2004 to June 2005. After deleting duplications, the sample consisted of 275 titles. 305 scenes were then selected for examination. One of the two papers based on this research project was already published by a peer-reviewed academic journal, the Psychology of Women Quarterly. If you have any questions regarding the legitimacy and accuracy of the best-selling and most rented videos from which this research is sampled, please contact Adult Video News directly.
Q2: You used clips from porn movies; did you get permissions from the pornographers?
A: We used the material from pornographic movies under the Fair Use provision of the Copyright Act of 1976 that states that the use of copyrighted work "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright." Our use of the material is thus perfectly legal and protected by law. In fact, our distributor Media Education Foundation got its start in 1991 when MTV threatened to sue this organization for copyright infringement for its use of music video clips in their very first film Dreamworlds. (MTV withdrew very quickly as a result of bad publicity and the knowledge that the use of its material for not-for-profit projects was perfectly legal.) The fact that our film is produced by Open Lens Media, a non-profit organization, strengthens the fair use argument considerably. During the course of the four years during which we produced our film, we consulted three lawyers about copyright issues; furthermore Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic at American University in Washington D.C. has seen various rough cuts during the post-production process and gave us advice on how to strengthen our case on Fair Use grounds. If you are interested in this topic, there is a great resource: Media Education Foundation’s video, Freedom of Expression: Resistance & Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property, which deals with this issue of how copyright holders attempt to use their property rights to infringe and stifle the free speech of artists and educators (http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=127).