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Old October 31st, 2014, 11:32 AM   #1
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Marvel intro

I have been asked to shoot a short promo for a small local cinema and wanted to create something similar like the marvel intro but instead of images of superhero's I want to use movieposters, this is a part in the scenario where they talk about being able to show the latest films as fast as the big cinema's. Instead of the marvel logo I want to end with the logo of the cinema. So this is completely custommade, even the sound of the pages flipping I will be recording myself.

Does anyone know if there are any legal issues I need to be aware of when I will be "copying" this intro or using the movieposters? The movieposters will be appearing so quickly that it's hard to see any details and I cannot imagine I would have to ask for some kind of license for every poster I use, or would I?
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Old November 1st, 2014, 08:34 PM   #2
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Re: Marvel intro

I think my first question would be... is there a copyright notice on the poster(s)? If there is, then you already know the answer to the question... "someone" has to clear permissions...

I think the problem I see is that even thought the posters are "promotional material" that probably ends up in the trash or on someone's "man cave" wall, they still are intellectual property and the poster as well as any recognizable characters on that poster can potentially come under all sorts of different IP protections.

Those things aside... might be worth at least checking with the client whether there is a contractual "promotional material" use clause with the movie (poster) distributors that would allow for the contemplated use - seems to me like that would be the "easy" solution, IF there is such a clause between the theater and their "suppliers".
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Old November 2nd, 2014, 12:24 PM   #3
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Re: Marvel intro

I"m shooting the promo tommorow, will ask the cinema owner, it should not be a problem if you see posters hanging in the cinema entrance in my film but like you said that once I start using the posters in a animation it becomes a different issue, same as music playing in the background at an event and using that same music in a film that is projected onto a screen at that same event as both require different licenses.
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Old December 9th, 2014, 02:49 AM   #4
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Re: Marvel intro

The film is ready and I ended up buying a few movieposters from movieposterdb.com which have a "editorial use only" license which means they are not allowed for commercial use like printing them on a t-shirt and selling it further for a profit.

On shutterstock I found the following explanation when it's ok to use images marked editorial use only:

"Usage allowance would have been different if you‘re designing the layout for a sports magazine and you‘re using the photo to illustrate a story about football playing techniques. In this situation, the photo was not being used to sell the magazine but rather to enhance the effectiveness of the story. Other mediums where you can use “editorial use only” images are newspapers, news broadcasts and other non-commercial applications. "

Since I"m using the posters to promote the cinema itself where the films on the posters I used have been played, would this not cover "editorial use only"?
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Old December 11th, 2014, 03:55 PM   #5
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Re: Marvel intro

What you're doing is considered promotional, and thus commercial. Ask a lawyer, but I'm fairly certain what you're doing does not fall under the realm of "editorial use."
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Old December 11th, 2014, 05:36 PM   #6
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Re: Marvel intro

Mmm, tricky, In my film you can see movieposters as well hanging on the wall of that cinema from films that are playing there, quite stupid if I even not would be allowed to use movieposters that are used to get people into the place the film is intended for, but maybe better not to take any risk at all.

I just had an idea about replacing the posters with prints that only show the names of the films in written text.
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Old December 11th, 2014, 05:46 PM   #7
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Re: Marvel intro

To me this is like a grocery store putting the brands that they carry in their advertisement. There is an implicit permission by movie companies to use posters in cinema ads. There were some theater TV spots I've seen where they dolly down the hallway passed the "upcoming movie" posters and they used the shot for five years.
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Old December 11th, 2014, 05:57 PM   #8
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Re: Marvel intro

On the other hand, what if I took a picture with a photocamera from all posters that are currently hanging on the wall in the cinema I have to make the film for and use those in that animation, in that case I would be the owner of the photos and using those in my own animation would be the same as just showing them when I film them, considering both will be shown in the same film, right? I can't imagine having to blur out the posters on the wall while I shoot them as Jeremiah said the cinema has implicit permission to use them and the promo is also for that cinema.

Maybe a quite stupid thought but it just came into my mind :)
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Old December 12th, 2014, 11:45 PM   #9
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Re: Marvel intro

I'm willing to bet your client has some sort of "promotional use" clause buried somewhere on page 4,236 (just kidding about that part) of whatever contract he has with his distributors/suppliers that should allow for your intended use (promoting the theater and the product shown within).

Taking a picture of a work wouldn't create a "derivative work" per se, if the original work is recognizable it would still hold its own copyright (routinely you see "credits" for both video and posters/magazines/etc. in a film... yep, they have to clear all of that stuff evidently). You'd have a copyright on your picture, but the original copyright holder would still have rights (yeah, this stuff gives you a headache fast...)

BUT, I'd almost expect there's a "promotional use" exclusion that SHOULD cover the intended usage, which is to promote movies in a specific theater, which is of course exactly what movie posters are intended to do... I'd run it past your client again, he might not even know it's in there, but for your peace of mind, you should have it "cleared".

I"m going from my layman's understanding of US law... it may be different on your side of our blue marble... but I'd expect enough similarity to suggest "where to look"!
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Old December 14th, 2014, 02:33 AM   #10
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Re: Marvel intro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
On the other hand, what if I took a picture with a photocamera from all posters that are currently hanging on the wall in the cinema I have to make the film for and use those in that animation, in that case I would be the owner of the photos and using those in my own animation would be the same as just showing them when I film them, considering both will be shown in the same film, right? I can't imagine having to blur out the posters on the wall while I shoot them as Jeremiah said the cinema has implicit permission to use them and the promo is also for that cinema.

Maybe a quite stupid thought but it just came into my mind :)

Implicit permission isn't a thing. You either have permission or you dont.

Fair use is a thing. That explains some of the discrepancies in how certain items can be used without permission.

Again, best to ask a lawyer but I'm betting you don't have permission to use the movie posters in an advertisement for the cinema.
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Old December 14th, 2014, 05:56 AM   #11
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Re: Marvel intro

The theater owner doesn't know for sure, he just said it won't be a problem but I decided to just replace the posters to be on the safe side, I"ll sleep better in that case :) I won't consult a lawyer as I can't add those costs to the original quote, unless the theatre owner demands to leave it as is, in that case I want him to show me on paper he is allowed to use it and he has to pay for a lawyer if we need to be sure.
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Old December 14th, 2014, 07:09 AM   #12
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Re: Marvel intro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Payne View Post
Implicit permission isn't a thing. You either have permission or you dont.

Fair use is a thing. That explains some of the discrepancies in how certain items can be used without permission.

Again, best to ask a lawyer but I'm betting you don't have permission to use the movie posters in an advertisement for the cinema.
Fair use isn't a thing either. Its a defense to attempt after you become a defendant.
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Old December 14th, 2014, 02:20 PM   #13
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Re: Marvel intro

The "suppliers" might be able to answer it with a single phone call (to each one)?? At least for the posters that are sent to the theater owner for promotional purposes... worth a couple calls, cheaper than an attorney to dig through the contracts (which in fact most likely will be different for each "supplier"). Get any "verbal" assurances backed up with at least an email "in writing", oral "contracts" being worth what they are written on...

You wouldn't want to rely on "fair use", as a video intended to increase profits for a theater would not fall under any "fair use" exclusion I've heard of, but rather on the basis that the posters were supplied "for promotional purposes" (not the ones you bought, of course, those apparently have another license... ugh, licensing and copyright...), and that the video you're producing IS "for promotional purposes"...

IF a studio/supplier argues that the promo is for the THEATER, not for the movies, then you'd have a problem (even with contracts, lawyers CAN come up with reasons to run up a bill... thus why clearances from the SUPPLIERS, in WRITING, would be your cheapest and best route).

All in all, once you start to unravel copyright issues, you wish you hadn't.... it'll give anyone a headache!
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Old December 14th, 2014, 02:46 PM   #14
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Re: Marvel intro

Yeah, too much headache for just a 3 second animation :) I replaced all posters with frames from shots I used for their promo so problem solved. Thx all for thinking with me.
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Old December 14th, 2014, 04:05 PM   #15
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Re: Marvel intro

Just to be clear, for anyone reading after the fact, I wasn't suggesting this would fall into fair use (which yes, is a thing, and even has its own Wikipedia page), just saying that might explain the times you hear "well so and so used copyrighted images for promotional use, so I should be able to as well." I wouldn't bank on the fact that since someone else did it, you could too. Their circumstances may be way different, may fall into fair use, or any other number of things.

Anyway, glad you found a solution.
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