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Old November 3rd, 2006, 02:19 PM   #31
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 02:30 PM   #32
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Hi Ned

I'm not authority... but have shot stills around the world...

If you are in an area where model release is possible naturally you should do it...

but we live in countries where you run straight to an attorney for the slightest thing.....Any one-hit-wonder has the right to sue your ass...
This is not the real world!!!.

Here in France the Monaco Royals, for example, earn thousands of Euros from favourable court cases, by suing photographers, magazines etc... but in most countries this is not an option or a possibility.

If you shoot in Central Africa, what are the chances of the subject ever seeing, taking offence, and getting an attorney on your case????

I think that if you are courteous, and honest, you'll get access and no hassle as in our world..

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Old November 6th, 2006, 02:58 PM   #33
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releases

Hi,
I am Canadian and got a permit and a visa to film in India. The local consulate had applications specifically for doc filmmakers. I also had location releases and personal releases. I had them translated by a service that I found online. It's important that they have legal/business translation experience. I had these printed double sided with English and the local language. I'm no legal expert, but I get the impression that you should get sufficient legal coverage for your home country. India and many African countries might be lax in terms of releases while you are actually shooting people, but you might run into troubles with broadcasters, distributors or other end users. It might be difficult/costly/impossible to get E&O (Errors and Ommissions) insurance without these releases. If you know your end user, maybe they can tell you what sort of legal coverage they're looking for. You could also do an internet search to see if the country you're going to has a film office. Consulate websites are also helpful.

You can also try d-word.com It's a free forum for professional doc filmmakers. Click on the "Community" and join. I'm a beginner but told them that I was working on a doc and they let me register. There's a legal forum. The site is American but there is a broad international member base.

Tim
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Old November 6th, 2006, 03:20 PM   #34
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Documentary Releases

Gentlemen, thank you for your replies, helpful. The project is on behalf of a University and they will help but I needed some background which you have provided.

thanks,

Ned C
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Old July 21st, 2008, 02:42 AM   #35
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Documentary questions..

I got a question, I was watching some recent documentaries, such as Fast Food Nation, and some others my Mike moore, and I realized he shows alot of logos, and other things in the film. Is it illegal to show logos? or brands? I wanted to make a documentary regarding junk food, by naming its providers, and possibly showing the logos, can it be done? or it illegal?
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Old July 21st, 2008, 06:21 AM   #36
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It is not illegal in the sense of a policeman will come to your house and arrest you if you do it.

However, if you show trademarks in what their owners consider to be an unflattering light they might sue you for defamation of their trademark. You would then have to defend the claim in court and pay damages if you lose and/or remove your work from public view. If what you have to say is true or at least debatable and not an outright lie then defamation would be hard to prove.

In the case of Fast Food Nation and other such documentaries the trademark owners have to decide what's worse in legal and PR terms: suffer the claims made in the film or being seen as lending credibility to the claims by suing to prevent them from reaching the public.

If McDonalds had sued the Supersize Me producers all they would have done would be to suggest to the general public the films claims were damaging to McDonalds and were perhaps more credible than McDonalds wanted the public to know -- far worse in PR terms than anything they might gain.

McDonalds did the sensible thing and said that if anyone eats too much of any of the same foods they might become sick or fat and that McDonalds food is just fine if enjoyed in moderation and that it's all a matter of individual choice anyway.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 04:20 PM   #37
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I see. Thanks for explaining that, I basically just wanted to go after junk foods and stuff, I can always take out the food itself, no need to show the wrapper.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wiley View Post
It is not illegal in the sense of a policeman will come to your house and arrest you if you do it.

However, if you show trademarks in what their owners consider to be an unflattering light they might sue you for defamation of their trademark. You would then have to defend the claim in court and pay damages if you lose and/or remove your work from public view. If what you have to say is true or at least debatable and not an outright lie then defamation would be hard to prove.

In the case of Fast Food Nation and other such documentaries the trademark owners have to decide what's worse in legal and PR terms: suffer the claims made in the film or being seen as lending credibility to the claims by suing to prevent them from reaching the public.

If McDonalds had sued the Supersize Me producers all they would have done would be to suggest to the general public the films claims were damaging to McDonalds and were perhaps more credible than McDonalds wanted the public to know -- far worse in PR terms than anything they might gain.

McDonalds did the sensible thing and said that if anyone eats too much of any of the same foods they might become sick or fat and that McDonalds food is just fine if enjoyed in moderation and that it's all a matter of individual choice anyway.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 05:26 PM   #38
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*Ahem*

Fast Food Nation is not a documentary; I believe you are thinking of Super Size Me. One is a hilariously irreverent indictment of the fast food industry, the other is a uninspiring PoS by Richard Linklater. ;-p

Peter's points not withstanding, questions of legality should always be directed to an attorney. If you want to be a documentary filmmaker, and you want to make films which raise issues, you will want to make damn sure you have all your legal ducks in a row.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 01:40 PM   #39
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news articles scanned for documentary

I searched around and there is quite a bit on music - but I can't find any reference to visual bits such as a news article

Does anyone know the legal/copyright stance on using a scanned image of a news article from a paper to a make a visual point in a documentary style piece?

And of course, Canada maybe different from the states in this regard as well.

Trish
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Old August 11th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #40
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Most newspapers publish a copyright notice somewhere in each edition, at least that's been my experience. While I'm not a lawyer, my guess and experience is that it will be a no-go. Now if you take the factual content and re-write it in your own words, that would be another matter.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #41
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thanks for the info

I wonder how doc makers like 'loose change' got away with all that they did!'

trish
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Old August 11th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #42
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You'd probably be able to get permission to use images "courtesy of" - far easier to contact a newpaper publisher than the nightmare which is music clearances... one contact point, likely fairly simple with an in house legal advisor who would probably regard it as "good publicity", as long as your use is not objectionable.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 12:34 AM   #43
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It's a good idea to give credit where credit is due and ask permission when it's appropriate. Sometimes you need to ask permission, sometimes you can use material under the terms of "fair use." The Center For Social Media worked with several other organizations to create the seminal document, "Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices In Fair Use," which is available at:

http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/...s_in_fair_use/

their site also has lots of related information you will find of interest, for example, an excellent FAQ at:

http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/...sked_questions
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Old August 12th, 2008, 08:01 AM   #44
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excellent - thanks for the tips and those links

I've been trying to find a 'how to' resource for this area - this a good start

Trish
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Old August 14th, 2008, 09:29 PM   #45
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I'm winding up post on a doc about an old 1970's movie; being able to use newspaper articles is such a bonus and adds tremendous impact to visuals. In my case, I was fortunate in that there was just one newspaper and it was regional. Many/most regional newspapers are owned by much larger companies now, but after explaining the nature of the story, they granted me one off use of articles for the doc. I would advise contacting someone in editorial, explain your situation and even ask if they'd be interested in doing a story on your doc.

<boorish_rant>
I'm somewhat at a loss to explain the number of posts I see from people mentioning "Fair Use" of copyrighted material as a legit excuse for not dealing with a copyright owner, and I'm thinking that most of these posts are from well-meaning folks (but not filmmakers) using educated guesses. Unless you're making a home movie or plan on distributing yourself, no serious distributor will touch a doc unless you provide them a binder containing releases, etc. covering material, interviews etc.. It's almost impossible to get a pickup nowadays anyway without removing all chance. And this isn't even considering the unthinkable that the newspaper owners/lawyers will one day see your doc and take you to court.
</boorish_rant>
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