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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!

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Old June 21st, 2004, 03:56 PM   #16
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Arlington VA
Posts: 1,034
Andy, your "principle" is based on incorrect assumptions about the legal system, so it's no more valid because it's an opinion as opposed to actual advice.

You think that you can be sued or arrested for anything? That's not true. You think that every image in life is protected? That's also not true. There is an enormous amount of freedom to photograph, film or record. Most people don't take advantage of it because it's just so much easier to take something someone else has already done. Like the constant constant requests to use pre-recorded music in movies. Why not team up with a composer? There are countless out there who want work.

You want to photograph something outside? Go do it. You can't get sued just because a trademark happens to be in a shot. It's much more complicated than that. Why don't you start talking to lawyers who really know. Search for some of Paul Tauger's posts (he's a LOT more experienced with this than I and has offered volumes of advice to people on this board). Don't make assumptions, find out the truth.
Peter Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2004, 10:25 PM   #17
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
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I'm not a lawyer either but Docs might have different protection than entertainment films. Docs, as a form of News, may have the same protections as journailst.

There are times where a release can be as simple as, "Can I ask you some questions for my documentary?" Followed by "Can you say and spell your name for me?" You now have permission and name of person giving permission on video tape. It can be weak since you haven't explained the use beyond "my documentary" but you do have recorded proof that some "purpose" was identified and permission granted.
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Old June 24th, 2004, 07:16 AM   #18
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 581
I don't do documentaries but, yes, as Craig said, docos are different than entertainment films and are journalistic ventures. They "document" factual events though Moore inserts his biases without taking much of the other side.

ALL businesses need a lawyer to protect themselves but a 10:1 management/legal staff to crew is hardly in the ballpark. My company of 20 employees has two managers, no lawyers except when I need advice and I pay for one by the hour.

It's true you should get legal advice to prevent trouble before shooting and during post. I know a guy who was sued four or five times once he became successful by people making outrageous claims. (You would not believe what they were for).
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