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Old November 11th, 2009, 07:02 PM   #1
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Photographs in Documentaries

Hi everyone,

I am producing a documentary, which will briefly discuss popular figures such as Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Martin Luther King Jr. I am planning to use pictures for that portion of the documentary and I have collected very high resolution pictures already from the internet.

My question is if it is legal for me to use these pictures or will I have to attain the rights to the photographs? This documentary will eventually be sold to a major television network once finished.

If I do have to attain rights to use the pictures, where can I find out who has the rights to the pictures I have selected? Normally I shoot everything that is needed when it comes to video footage and pictures or I make my client provide me with pictures they have shot.
However, this documentary is my own privately funded project.

Thanks
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Old November 11th, 2009, 08:03 PM   #2
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Yes, you need to get rights for the photos you took off the internet. And the place to start would be to go back to the place where you got them.

Alternately, you could try to find a legitimate source for obtaining high-resolution photos (like a photo stock company) and pay for them. That's probably the most above board thing to do.

I would NEVER take photos off the internet and produce a piece for sale with them. Talk about an invitation to get sued.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 11:18 PM   #3
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Thanks

Thanks for the advice, I was not going to use the pictures in the first place, I was just wondering if someone knew a service or a website where I can pay to get photographs cleared. Thanks again for your help.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 03:47 AM   #4
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Do a search on stock photographs. Many websites are selling them. You can also try ANP/Reuters etc. which have a huge library of stock footage.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 09:56 PM   #5
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ok thanks

ok I will look into it, thanks for the advice.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 06:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohammad Farooqi View Post
I am producing a documentary, which will briefly discuss popular figures such as Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Martin Luther King Jr.
Mohammad,

some pictures (the ones taken by US Government officers or employees while on duty) are in the Public Domain (as per Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code; source: commons.wikimedia.org).
You might want to check Wikimedia Commons ,
do a search, and then carefully read under "Licensing".

A few words of caution: try to always double-check the licensing terms;
not all pictures you'll find on Wikimedia are in the Public Domain (only those labeled as such); most of them require at least some form of attribution (again: check under "Licensing").

Two more sources for pictures, films and documents that might be in the Public Domain:
the Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov);
the National Archives (National Archives and Records Administration)

Hope this helps

Best

Vasco
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Old December 9th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #7
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Thanks

Thanks a lot for your help. I really appreciate it.
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