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Taking Care of Business
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Old June 6th, 2004, 01:00 AM   #1
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Filming local surfers

Wow, my first real post on dvinfo.net!

I recently went to a local surf spot and filmed some bodyboarders. None of them are pros, but I don't know any of their names, nor do I have permission from them to use or sell it. Maybe I'm answering my own question already, but can I use this footage for commercial purposes?

I'm planning on getting a lot more footage from this spot and releasing it as a no-name bodyboarder video. These guys are really good but don't have the big name sponsors and I think the video would go over well.

I've had some people tell me that I can't use it without their permission. I've had some people tell me I can since you can't really see their faces.

Last question, if I can't use their footage for commercial purposes, can I use it as long as it's not commercial? e.g. short clips on my website?

I'd appreciate any advice I can get on this matter.

Thanks!
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Old June 10th, 2004, 04:58 PM   #2
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i'm no pro with legality issues but i know for a fact still photographers take photos of pro surfers, sell to them to the magazines, the sponsors see their stuff on the surfer's board in the magazine, and then the surfer gets paid from the sponsor. so i think you're okay using it commercially.
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Old June 11th, 2004, 02:03 AM   #3
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Thanks. I hope you're correct. My main concern is I don't know most of these people's names and don't plan on giving them credit.
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Old June 11th, 2004, 08:39 PM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Greg Wolfinger : i'm no pro with legality issues but i know for a fact still photographers take photos of pro surfers, sell to them to the magazines, the sponsors see their stuff on the surfer's board in the magazine, and then the surfer gets paid from the sponsor. so i think you're okay using it commercially. -->>>

If you are a pro surfer, you should know that tons of folks will be clicking pics left and right trying to get a good shot of you. It's whats expected and comes with the sport. If you are just Joe Beachdude riding your long board or body boarding, you are not expecting people to be taking your picture and either selling it or publishing it a website. If the surfers are recognizable and not just figures on a board, you should really get clearance from them before doing anything.
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Old June 12th, 2004, 06:42 AM   #5
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What you are dealing with are two seperate issues.
Right to privacy
Right to publicity.

Reams of books written on both topics... do a search on this forum for some of the posts.

Anything that happens in "public" may be photographed by you.

You can usually post pics you shoot on your website... no problem. (Note I said USUALLY)

SELLING access to your website/video is different.

Making MONEY off someone else's image, especially if they use their own image for money making... is going to get you in trouble.

Basically, any professional magazine or media outlet is going to require a release for anyone who may be recognizable, just to cover their own a$$ from lawsuits.

That's my experience.
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