Freedom of Expression®


Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property

freedomofexpressionThis educational documentary brings to multimedia life the contents of Kembrew McLeod’s bookFreedom of Expression®. It was co-produced by Kembrew McLeod and Jeremy Smith — the same team behind the Media Education Foundation’s Money for Nothing: Behind the Business of Pop Music.

DVD Description

In 1998, university professor Kembrew McLeod (Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa) trademarked the phrase “freedom of expression” — a startling comment on the way that intellectual property law restricts creativity and the expression of ideas. This provocative and amusing documentary explores the battles being waged in courts, classrooms, museums, film studios, and the Internet over control of our cultural commons. Based on McLeod’s award-winning book of the same title, Freedom of Expression® charts the many successful attempts to push back the assault on free expression by overzealous copyright holders. Freedom of Expression® is an essential tool for educators, activists, filmmakers, students, artists, librarians, and more.



“This smartly-made and seriously funny documentary provides an aerial view of the battleground that is today’s copyright landscape. Illustrating the comments of many well-known critics of runaway copyright and trademark law with apt audiovisual examples, Freedom of Expression succeeds as an engaging and concrete presentation.”

–Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law at Washington College of Law, American University

“It’s about time someone made this movie. 700 Americans get sued into penury every month by the record industry. 70 million Americans file-share. Every generation of technology contains more locks to turn our computers into our masters, not our servants. Worst of all: no one seems to even notice as our tools for free speech are being turned into perfect snitches.”

–Cory Doctorow, co-editor, Boing Boing; author of Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present

Featured Interviews:

Kembrew McLeod | Communication professor, author of the book Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property and producer of this educational video

Lawrence LessigStanford Law professor; founder, the Stanford Center for Internet and Society; author, Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity, and Chair, the Creative Commons project

Wendy SeltzerIntellectual property attorney, and an attorney who helped win the Diebold case

James BoyleDuke Law professor, co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain, and author of Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society

Carrie McLaren | Journalist, activist, and publisher of Stay Free! magazine , and curator of the Illegal Art Exhibition

Siva Vaidhyanathan | Associate Professor of Culture and Communication, University of Virginia, and author, Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity

Mark Hosler | Artist, co-founder of the sound collage collective Negativland

Marjorie Heins | Founder, Free Expression Policy Project; fellow, the Brennan Center for Justice and Democracy Program; and co-author of the widely read report Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Control?

Nelson Pavlosky | Student at Swarthmore College who successfully sued Diebold over the right to publish emails detailing the failure of electronic voting machines, and co-founder of the national student activist organization, Free Culture

Inga ChernyakStudent activist, co-founder the NYU Free Culture chapter

David BollierCo-founder of the Washington DC-based advocacy group Public Knowledge; journalist; activist; and author, Brand Name Bullies: The Quest to Own and Control Culture

Pat Aufderheide | Communication Professor, American University, co-director, the Center for Social Media; and co-author, the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use

David Sanjek | Music historian, advisor to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and Director of the BMI Archives

Sut JhallyProfessor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts and founder and Executive Director of the Media Education Foundation

Ordering Information

If you are an institution (library, university, high school, etc.), click here or call the Media Education Foundation’s toll free number: 800.897.0089

If you are an individual, it can be purchased for $29.99. To do so, call the Media Education Foundation’s toll free number: 800.897.0089