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Old October 20th, 2003, 01:07 AM   #1
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TV Playing in Background?

This may have been asked before but I did a search for it and couldn't find anything. I am currently finishing up a script for a film I will begin shooting in a few months and there is a scene where my central character is sitting in his living room watching TV. I was just wondering how i should go about this, legally. I do not plan on showing the actual picture of the tv screen because what show he is watching is of no relevance. I do, however, want the sound of the playing TV in the background of the scene. There will be conversation over it in most parts. Would it be alright if i only shot the different segments of the scene over parts of the TV program that did not mention character's names or easily recognizable lines from TV shows? Or do I need to play it safe and just record some of my friends voices talking to make it sound like a TV show? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 01:30 AM   #2
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Do a search on "incidental reproduction" -- I've discussed this before. The short version is this: don't use protecte expression that belongs to others without permission, or you run the risk of copyright and/or trademark infringement.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 11:23 AM   #3
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Thanks Paul, you have been very helpful, as always.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 01:11 PM   #4
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Oh, and one other point (I wrote my reply early this morning and wasn't really awake yet ;) ):

Most states have commercial appropriation of likeness statutes that could preclude commercial use of not only the image of a person, but their voice as well.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 04:29 PM   #5
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Try taking something you have done in the past, whether it is a short or a music video, and run it through the vcr. I plan on making fake newscasts, and playing them through the vcr for those types of scenes.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 03:37 PM   #6
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Thanks again guys.
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