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Old April 4th, 2004, 05:41 PM   #1
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When does Explicit Consent have to be given?

Hello,

Can anyone point me to a good description/definition of what kinds of video footage you can shoot and use in a for profit project where the actor or person in the footage doesn’t require the a signed consent form?

For example. Can you take shoot something with a logo in the background, say the Goodyear blimp, and use the shot in a project?

How about People. Can you take footage at a local high school soccer event and use it in project? How about people waling down a crowded shopping mall?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Sasha
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Old April 4th, 2004, 07:46 PM   #2
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In all of the situations you describe, to be protected, you do need written permission from each person and each copyright owner.

Fortunately, in the US, we don't need permission to photograph buildings as is true elsewhere although the shopping malls are quite a different case and they normally don't want you filming on their site.

Furthermore, if you are shooting in public (on government land)for commercial purposes, you will probably be required to obtain a license from the city/county/state/feds. And of course, you need a business license to shoot in almost any city, even on private property.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 01:51 PM   #3
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Thanks Mike.
It appears that, in short, if you shoot anything that anyone wants to see, you need to have explicit permission. Is there a standard release I can get a copy of somewher?
Sasha
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Old April 11th, 2004, 02:43 PM   #4
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You can get most of those forms either in camera stores or in business stores as computer s/w.
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Old April 12th, 2004, 08:59 AM   #5
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Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and my opinions in this matter do not represent legal advice.

For video for commercial purposes, yes get releases from every one you shoot or interview. In some cases of crowd scenes it is useful to post a sign saying that entrance to the event constitutes permission to use the person's likeness. Tickets to the event can also be printed with this information. State law of NY once held that using a persons likeness for commercial purposes (like advertising ) without permission was a misdemeanor. This varies state to state.

The exceptions (like Time, Inc. v. Hill Supreme Court 1967) generally hold that privacy claims require showing "malice" - knowing and intentional disregard of the truth - as in a defamation claim. Also a docudrama may use fictional characters or composite characters, or compress events in a fictional way.

When I shot news we shot pretty much anything and any one we wanted. News and documentary programs are generally free to depict persons or places and public events as long as their purpose is informational and not directly commercial. The restriction on jounalism is that you may not intentionally depict that person or event in a false or defamatory manner.

The book "This Business of Television" by Blumenthal and Goodenough c. 1998 pp 180+ is helpful and has video release forms.

Hope this is helpful.

Ed Hill
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