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Taking Care of Business
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Old April 20th, 2008, 11:41 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
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Filming in public

I'd like to start filming inside of restaurants, but don't know the legality of it.

Do I need the owner's permission? Do I need release forms?

I see people's faces blurred on occassion on TV. How do you know when someone's face should be blurred?
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Old April 21st, 2008, 12:50 AM   #2
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I believe it depends on what you are doing with the footage. If you are only showing it at home to your friends, then I don't see why you need releases.

OTOH, if you plan to show the film publicly then you may well need model releases for anyone recognizable (if you don't have a release, you BETTER blur their face) and a property release for the location — and make sure you get the release(s) from the parties that actually hold the rights! Who that is may not be immediately clear (for instance, is it the restaurant/lesee or the property owner, or both?). Even if someone doesn't really hold the rights, they can cause a lot of trouble for you if they THINK they hold the rights. If there's background music you will need to clear all the music and performance rights for that, too.

In fact, you might consider Errors and Omissions insurance, etc. for problems that you can't anticipate.

Then again, if your footage qualifies as "news" you may not need any of that. You really should talk to a lawyer who specializes in the field— which I am most definitely not.

Best,
Peter
www.parkfilms.com
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Old April 21st, 2008, 09:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makoto Schoppert View Post
Do I need the owner's permission?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makoto Schoppert View Post
Do I need release forms?
Perhaps, perhaps not. If you are going to show it anywhere other than the confines of your own living room, get a signed release form.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makoto Schoppert View Post
I see people's faces blurred on occassion on TV. How do you know when someone's face should be blurred?
If you do not have a signed release form for anyone in frame whose face is recognizable, that's when you'll have to blur it.

It's all about CYA (Cover Your A**). A little self-education up front can and likely will save you from loads more of legal woe later on. If in doubt, ask an attorney. CYA.
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