Michael C Donaldson
BAR203 BAR203
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Michael C Donaldson

Michael C. Donaldson is an entertainment attorney who has been fighting for independent filmmakers for over thirty years. He is the founding partner of Donaldson & Callif, a Beverly Hills, California law firm specializing in entertainment and copyright law, with particular emphasis on the representation of independent film producers.  As President of the International Documentary Association, he negotiated with the cable networks to prevent the wholesale migration of credits from the screen to the internet by organizing and leading the Documentary Credit Coalition.

His accomplishments in these areas, and others, are vast. He served on the Advisory Committee for the Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Stanford Fair Use Project. He negotiated with Media Professional Insurance Company, Chubb Insurance Company, and other companies to offer fair use riders on the E&O insurance policies which allowed many films to be made under the fair use doctrine. He helped draft Orphan Works legislation, as well as, the Rome Resolution to harmonize Fair Use across the European Union.

Michael is a much lauded author and sought-after public speaker, as well. He is the author of Do It Yourself! Trademarks & Copyrights, released in 1995 and Clearance & Copyright, used in 50 film schools and winner of three national book awards, plus Fearless Negotiating and Negotiating for Dummies. His most recent work was The American Bar Associations’ Legal Guide to Independent Filmmaking, which he co-authored with his partner, Lisa Callif and which also won the Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association. In addition, Michael has contributed pieces to several books including writing the introduction to Conversations with Michael Landon as well as a section in Thriving in the Workplace for Dummies, among others. Michael speaks annually in Amsterdam at the Binger Film Institute as well as a host of other conferences and festivals, year-round.

- New Book Release

The American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Independent Film Making


Legal Guide to Independent Filmmaking

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- New Book Release

Clearance & Copyright - 3rd Edition


Clearance and Copyright

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Fair Use Information Fearless Negotiating

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