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Old August 7th, 2010, 12:21 AM   #1
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Copyright question

Hi everyone,

Currently I am working on a documentary about mechanic shops. A lot of the subject will be customer relations. My question is, I will be shooting customers coming to the shop and some will even volunteer to be interviewed after a release form signature. However, if I am shooting them (with a signed release form) walking around the shop and in the background and there are other customers just in the shot, do I have to sign release forms from them as well? I am trying to cause the least amount of disturbance I can in the shop while showing that the shop is pretty busy.

Thanks
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Old August 7th, 2010, 11:13 AM   #2
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A method sometimes used is to put up a notice at the entrance informing people that you may be filming customers inside the shop as part of a documentary and that is assumed that they will be giving permission to appear in the background, but if they do not wish to appear in the film they should inform the film maker.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #3
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I've done what Brian suggests but it's nothing my lawyer would recommend. Best, obviously, is a signed release. I favor blurring the folks in the background as insurance.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 11:22 PM   #4
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Blur the faces or get a signed release. There is no other 'legal' way.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 08:21 AM   #5
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It's the job production assistants, together with a lot of other useful things, did before budgets were so reduced that one person now does everything. I'd add that blurring looks awful and it's better to clear things if you possibly can.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #6
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The people in the store have a reasonable expectation of privacy, so it's theoretically possible someone identified in a background shot could take issue (unlikely, though).

Seeing that you haven't shot yet, a good alternative to blurring may simply be to frame your shots so customer faces aren't identifiable.
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