Amsterdam University Press

The Greatest Films Never Seen presented in Washington

Claudy Op den Kamp, author of The Greatest Films Never Seen: The Film Archive and the Copyright Smokescreen, will present her book at the 5th Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest in Washington D.C. (September 27 - 29, 2018).
Paper Print
(courtesy of the Library of Congress); in The Greatest Films Never Seen

The Greatest Films Never Seen, published in the Framing Film series in collaboration with the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, uses the prism of copyright to reconsider human agency and the politics of the archive, and asks what the practical implications are for educational institutions, the creative industries, and the general public. Claudy's presentation of the book will take place at the main convening of a global network of over 800 researchers, activists, and practitioners who work on the intersection of intellectual property and promotion of the public interest.

"My handful of cinema-going experiences (in addition to a youth spent glued to the television), however, were life-altering: not only did these moving-image experiences make me question the world, myself, and who I wanted to be, but also informed my later professional choices. This preface is the story of the films I was able to see, and perhaps more importantly, the ones I later discovered I could not. This discovery, and some of the reasons why I was unable to access these films, form part of the personal and professional experiences that serve as the background to this book." - Claudy Op den Kamp, The Greatest Films Never Seen, page 11

The book has been of significance and interest before it was even published, and was presented at the Eye International Conference 2018 programme Activating the Archive. Audio-Visual Collections and Civic Engagement, Political Dissent and Societal Change during the session The Resisting Copyright and its Archival Implications, moderated by Claudy. Peter Jaszi, American University, Washington College of Law, who gave a presentation on 'The Rhetoric of Fair Use' at the Eye, will also attend the Global Congress in Washington; Jaszi writes that Op den Kamp's "stylish book will be indispensable for everyone who cares about the future of the past.

"Grounded in deep scholarship and experience, it’s a case study in how copyright law shapes (or warps) cultural practice. While celebrating film preservation and the pleasures of working with found footage, Claudy Op den Kamp also reveals how pervasive anxieties over copyright compliance can hobble both memory institutions and filmmakers – and offers a bracing vision of the way forward."

We at Amsterdam University Press offer our warmest congratulations to Claudy on the publication of her book.

Download the table of contents and introduction to The Greatest Films Never Seen here.

Thursday, September 20th, 2018