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Old January 4th, 2004, 11:18 AM   #1
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Legal issues / releases / etc. for documentary

Using News Footage in a Documentary...

What are the steps/legal issues in using something that was broadcast on the news, a local news station?

Would you contact the news station for permission or if you taped it off the Television can you use that?

Thanks
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Old January 4th, 2004, 11:22 AM   #2
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You must contact the station to obtain proper rights to use the footage. Using the footage you record off the screen etc. may result in serious legal complications.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 10:41 PM   #3
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subject releases needed for documentary work?

Okay, sticky question, do you need to get subject release forms for non-profit documentary work? I know that news photographers can pretty much shoot what they want as long as they aren't trespassing. Does the same apply to people doing documentary work?
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Old January 8th, 2004, 11:35 PM   #4
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release:
in general YES .. doesn't matter if it is for non profit or profit.
if you are planning to show it other then your living room for your enjoyment - get a release ...

"news photographers can pretty much shoot what they want
Does the same apply to people doing documentary work?"

again in general get a release. unless you are doing this for some news organization... get advice from a lawyer to see if your project just might fall under NEWS ? most news is shot today and shown this evening ....

actually a news video can't shoot whatever they want .. it has to be NEWS ... me walking down the street is not news unless i'm walking out of the lottery office with a 60million $ check.. michael jackson walking down the street is news .. notice that when your news station does a story on over "weight" persons .the persons they video on the street they avoid showing their face.
they might show a crowd shot with 30 persons but when they move into a 1-3 person shot they avoid faces and just get the body.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 12:06 PM   #5
 
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Releases

You can download releases from the Sundance site if you wish...both for profit and not for profit.
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Old March 19th, 2004, 07:24 AM   #6
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Using Photos in Documentary

Two questions:

If I purchased photos from Ebay, could I use those photos in a documentary or does someone still retain rights?

The photo in question is the famous pic of the Wright Brothers and their first flight taking off. I purchased a large print and would like to incorporate that in the doc.

Secondly - the sculptor used family photos of the Wright Brothers as models for his statues. I would like to use those photos as well (to show the difficulty of creating a three-dimensional piece of work using only a photo). Would I need permission from the family to use those photos as well?

Thanks for the assistance.
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Old March 19th, 2004, 02:04 PM   #7
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Umm, does anyone know these answers? I'm editing the doc and I'm at a point where I need to know if I have to secure releases or not.

Thanks in advance.
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Old March 19th, 2004, 03:17 PM   #8
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If it's the Wright Brothers image I'm thinking of, it certainly is not in the public domain (Bettman archives?) You can not copy a photo and use it for commercial purposes just because you purchased it.
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Old March 19th, 2004, 03:20 PM   #9
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Hold yer horses, its only been 7 hours since your first post. :)

Most likely, none of us will have the answer, since we don't know exactly which picture it is, and who still owns the rights. That may need some lawyering to find out.

To make an educated guess, I would say, yes someone owns the rights to that picture, and yes you may have to get the permission of the family to use those pics. That might be fairly easy.

If your documentary is going to be seen by the general public, I would certainly do this the proper way.
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Old March 19th, 2004, 10:08 PM   #10
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Thanks guys! Yeah, only seven hours - my short attention span whining started early!!

I can easily get permission for the family photos, but the First Flight Photo sounds like it may be difficult.

John Daniels (a Kill Devil Hills lifeguard) took the original photo and I have a contact for one of his descendants, but not sure if he (or the family) owns the rights.

I'll check that. However, you have answered the two questions I needed. Yes, it is going to be seen by the general public and probably sold in the Outer Banks gift shop by the National Park Service, so I do want to do it right!

Thanks again.
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Old March 19th, 2005, 10:08 AM   #11
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Two Documentary questions pls!

I am filming a documentary and I have two questions regarding music and logos :

1) If I am filming in a bar or coffee house and the music is in the background, do I need release forms from the artist for this? I had heard that if the music was not the focus of the interview or the doc and it was indeed background, it was ok. Any people have experience with this?

2) If I am filming in a coffee house such as Tim Horton's or something and they have their logo in the shot, is this a problem (the logo is not the focus of the interview)? I am not sure, but in Super Size ME, McDonald's was all over the place, so I wonder how he got away with it.

Thanks in advance!
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Old March 19th, 2005, 10:13 AM   #12
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Hey Mandy
We've answered many similar questions in the Business forum. I'm moving your thread there. If you don't get any responses, try using the Search button for some good reading.
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Old March 19th, 2005, 04:38 PM   #13
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Mandy, the short answers are, "yes," and "yes."

Do a search on my name and "incidental reproduction" for a discussion about background music (in brief, what you heard was wrong).

The answer to your second question is actually considerably more complicated than a simple, "yes, you'll have a problem." Do a search on my name and "likelihood of consumer confusion" for discussion about trademark infringement issues.

In Supersize Me, the producer's use of the McDonald logo would not have resulted in likelihood of consumer confusion as to source and, in any event, would clearly have been privileged under the First Amendment (there is an equivalent fair use doctrine for trademark as well as copyright).
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Old November 10th, 2005, 08:17 PM   #14
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Documentary filming permits, needed or not?

So I've been searching these forums and reading a lot on people getting (and sometimes not getting) permits for features. They all involve actors/actresses, more than one person crews, larger equipment etc.

So what about documentaries? I once heard that they along with newscasts are exempt for the most part. Urban legend or not?

My crew would consist of myself and my equipment would be minimal; dvx100a, tripod, small softbox, that's about it. I just can't see even beginning to work on a project if I have to shell out hundreds for insurance, permits, and off duty officers.

Anyone out there know if there is a permit loophole for very low budget docs? If not it looks like this idea is dead before it even began.

Thanks in advance.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 08:47 PM   #15
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Toby

No one can tell you what it's going to take without knowing the subject and scope of your shoot. I do know this.

If you interview someone on tape, get them to sign a release.

If you are shooting on 'private' property, get permission. This includes such private forums as shopping malls, amusement parks, arenas, business campuses, schools... you get the point.

Try not to record any'ambient' music that might be playing in the background, or you'll have to get clearance rights to it. This can actually include ring tones of phones.

Shooting a doc doens't HAVE to be expensive, if you take the time to plan it out.

Good luck
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