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Old August 5th, 2005, 05:37 AM   #1
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Using research in documentary script development

We've all been exposed to discussions about the proper use of other people's images and sounds in our own work but for the first time I find myself developing a documentary script with the majority of the material coming from books on the subject. I'm not quoting from them directly but the notes I'm taking will inform the script and I don't know what the legal, ethical and moral issues are in respect of giving credit where it's due. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

David Hurdon
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Old August 5th, 2005, 05:55 AM   #2
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Depends on how you are presenting your material. Maybe your talking head says "Dr. John Smith, a leading researcher whose book "CYSTS through the ages" is widly considered to be the best textbook... supports my view."

Or a nice tag on the end... "To learn more about CYSTS through the ages, we reccomend the following sources...."
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Old August 5th, 2005, 08:23 AM   #3
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Also, as long as you can find the same information across several publications, you can present it as common knowledge, as long as you are not representing the information word for word from either source. If you come across a bit of information that cannot be found in other supporting literature, then I'd attribute it to the author, as the guy above said, have a voice over that says who wrote it and from what source. That way you won't look like a quack for representing information that may not be supported by other publications and you also legally cover your ass by attributing the unique info to its origin.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 10:59 AM   #4
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I put citations in my credits. I used poetry in my film, that was recited by an on-screen presentor. Also, I used citations in my script (both shooting and narration).
A little extra effort can save you. I even contacted a couple of the authors of the books I used. They were thrilled that I referenced their material, and in the end I sent them copies of my film.

-you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours!
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