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Documentary Techniques
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Old May 17th, 2010, 11:51 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Carlisle, PA
Posts: 451
Costumes & Copyright

I'm working on a documentary about a festival and most people show up in costumes of their own creation. But once and awhile you recognize the costume... like the bunch of people dressed as characters from Monty Python's Holy Grail - cocoanuts, holy hand grenade, white bunny, and all - it was so well done that there is no mistaking it for anything else.

So what do you think, could this be considered a copyright violation?

I don't know if I will even use the shot, but it got me thinking and I would love to hear some of your thoughts.
Kevin Spahr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2010, 12:27 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,002
I'd imagine that any costume design with unique features, or logos would be protected, but costumes put together from individual items, that when combined remind you of certain characters are probably ok. I'm using material broadcast of things like The London Marathon, where many runners do it in fancy dress and plenty of these are pretty obvious - Wonder Woman, Batman, Indiana Jones, Austin Powers, James Bond.

If the BBC broadcast it, and then edit and re-broadcast as highlights, then my gut feeling is that this kind of thing seems ok - certainly from the UK perspective. I do note, however, that the US TV we see here has far more blobbed out ads (like Adidas on a T-shirt) than we have in our own home-grown coverage.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21st, 2010, 11:45 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Willmar, MN
Posts: 1,400
I don't know about the copyright issues, but at least in the USA, news broadcasts are covered under the fair use doctrine. So you can't point to news coverage of an event and assume that means it's ok for you to do it.
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