A Protest Against Copyrighted History

Across the US Tuesday, activists screened the documentary “Eyes on the Prize, in defiance of the copyright law. The program, “which debuted on PBS in 1987, can no longer be broadcast on television and has never been released on DVD due to a tangle of licensing issues. When the film was first made, each piece of newsreel footage, photograph and song used in the 14-part series had to be licensed from its copyright holder. Due to limited funding, the filmmakers could only afford to buy rights to the material for a certain number of years, and now those rights have expired.”