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


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Old August 31st, 2005, 09:44 AM   #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
Interesting what you say in your last paragraph. There is a case winding its way through the courts right now where a photographer has being sued by someone who he had photographed on the street in a public setting as a result of the images being displayed in an art gallery, claiming he had no right to exhibit them without a written release.
And that is where artistic impression ends and the legal issue begins. The court's interpretation of the primary subject matter will be balanced against the interpretive artistic peice. Sure there is no reasonable expectation of privacy when you are in a public place, but the use of such imagery is wide ... from photojournalism to commercial use.
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Old September 4th, 2005, 07:28 AM   #137
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A lot of blogs (or other written stuff) seems to use creative common licenses
from this place: http://creativecommons.org/

They have various levels etc. Perhaps some of that can be used for video as well?
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Old November 17th, 2005, 06:48 PM   #138
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Photo of camera in graphic - copyright?

I'd like to use an image of my Sony HDR-FX1 camera, taken by me personally, in a web graphic. I'm pretty seasoned in copyright issues but this is one I've never encountered. I own the camera and the photo will be taken by me. Are there any known issues with this?
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Old November 21st, 2005, 09:59 AM   #139
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Unfortunately, I cannot provide legal advice to non-clients.

Your concern isn't copyright, but trademark. Do a search on my name and you'll find a number of posts about relevant concerns.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 02:12 PM   #140
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Film Festival Copyright Rules

Where can I find more info about the copyright rules for submissions to film festivals?

Examples:
--My two main characters are playing Madden 05 on an Xbox. Can I include the commentators voices? Can I show the game they're playing?

--Music: how many bars of a pop music song can I use before it infringes on copyright laws.

--What about a pro football helmet in the background? Or a Pepsi bottle? Or the Kodak building in the background? Or any brand name thing?
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Old December 13th, 2005, 03:59 PM   #141
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Copyrights rules aren't different for film festivals than for other means of distribution.

-- The video game image is copyrighted, as well as the commentator voices: it's no different than having your characters watch the latest Harry Potter.

-- How many bars of a pop song? None, or at least, not enough to make it recognizable. Fair use isn't applicable to as many situations as most people think.

-- Logos, bottle design, and specific architecture are copyrighted too. Actually, in the case of the Kodak building, if it's part of a skyline, it wouldn't matter. But if the building is the subject of the shot, then it's infrigement (especially if you see the logo!).

Festivals usually expect you to have the rights to anything that is in you movie (and that sometimes includes signed releases from your talent!). Some festivals might let you get away with some slight infringements though, like logos, and such, but the music is a more touchy issue. Small festivals might not care at all about it. Read the festival rules.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 01:55 PM   #142
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Copyright rules for festivals are the same as copyright rules for broadcast, distribution, anything else. Copyright is copyright. You'll need permission for many of these things. That only difference is that it may be easier for you to get permission for "festival only" distribution, as opposed to other distribution that you could profit from, such as a "festival license" for the music.

Objects in your film that are common to everyday life are usually permissible. Images of buildings shot from public property are permissible (at least in the US, right?). If either of these prominent subjects in your film, you might want to get permission, but you don't have to (Michael Moore walks right in to corporations and shoots all the time).

Bottom line, film festivals will expect everything to be legal. Whether they all enforce that or not is another matter. In fact, they'll have you sign a form stating that everything is legal, thus shifting the burden directly to you if anything proves otherwise.

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Old December 16th, 2005, 03:04 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Cottrone
Where can I find more info about the copyright rules for submissions to film festivals?

Examples:
--My two main characters are playing Madden 05 on an Xbox. Can I include the commentators voices? Can I show the game they're playing?
I can't give advice to non-clients, so I'll just say, as a general proposition: If someone else recorded it, you can't use it without permission.

Quote:
--Music: how many bars of a pop music song can I use before it infringes on copyright laws.
There is no magic number. Unauthorized copying is infringement. Period.

Quote:
--What about a pro football helmet in the background? Or a Pepsi bottle? Or the Kodak building in the background? Or any brand name thing?
I've written about this alot, here. Do a search on my name and "trademark."
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Old December 16th, 2005, 03:05 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Provost
Objects in your film that are common to everyday life are usually permissible. Images of buildings shot from public property are permissible (at least in the US, right?).
Not sure what you mean by, "objects . . . that are common to everyday life." It they are protected by copyright and/or trademark, there can be a problem.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #145
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Copyright music in event DVDs?

I've seen a lot of wedding DVDs with Celine Dion or other copyrighted tracks...Is this legal seeing as it's really only going to be given to a family or two and not developed for a mass audience, or can only royalty free music be used even with small scale videography DVDs?
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Old April 12th, 2006, 04:18 PM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
I've seen a lot of wedding DVDs with Celine Dion or other copyrighted tracks...Is this legal seeing as it's really only going to be given to a family or two and not developed for a mass audience, or can only royalty free music be used even with small scale videography DVDs?
I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV...

There are a number of threads on this topic here and in the Wedding & Event section and the archives hold an excellent discussion piece by Douglas Spotted Eagle. The short anwer is ... no, it is not legal, full stop, no exceptions (and I would suggest that even given it is as common as it is, it is an unethical business practice as well as a violation of the letter of the law). The size of the audience may well be a factor in how much the copyright owner will want to charge for a license but it does not factor into whether a license is needed or not, at least not under North American law. It is never legal to use copyright material without a license, even if you're only selling or even giving away for free as little as one single copy to a client family or firm. Now, what you have to do to get the proper licenses varies depending on the country you're in - for example, Australia has a licensing scheme for small producers such as wedding and event videographers that makes the licenses much easier to obtain and far more reasonable in cost than we have in the US and Canada (and I really wish we'd implement such a scheme here). But you'll need to check with an intellectual property attorney there in South Africa to find out just what the laws and options are in your homeland.
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Last edited by Steve House; April 13th, 2006 at 08:56 AM.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 06:36 AM   #147
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I'll second what Steve says and add this. Think about what happens when you put your wedding demo online! It's no longer just for the family. Add to that the wedding demos you hand out on DVD too.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 11:49 AM   #148
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Note that almost anything you read there could be different than what you need to do. Australia has a yearly fee, to cover such licensing (as noted by Steve), which is totally different than here in the US. SA might have that option. I suspect also, the correct answer is to find someone "in country" that is well-versed in copyright laws as they apply to South African productions.

Footnote - This month's EventDV has an article where EDV and others are trying to get the RIAA to move to a system like Australia's as a solution to this mess.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 11:59 PM   #149
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Portrait studio copyright

I'll be curious what our legal-minded folks have to say about this. A fellow contacted me wanting permission to use a 30 year old portrait studio photo of a couple of my family members (now deceased) for commercial purposes.

When I mentioned the issue of the photographer's copyright, he replied:

Quote:
In the instance of portraits the ultimate holder for a copyright and permission is the owner of the photograph.
So that would be your family.
Studios who do personal portraits give up rights to their photos when they work on behalf of the customer.
Kind of like when a newspaper photographer, takes a photo it becomes the property of the newspaper.
I'm not knowledgeable about portrait photography, but this doesn't jibe with what I do know about usual copyright practices for video work...and certainly not with the many framed family photos I see on peoples' mantels with a (C) XYZ Studio watermark on them. And the newspaper analogy is an apples to oranges fallacy, IMO. Anyone with experience in still portrait work able to comment on usual practices regarding copyright?
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Old May 26th, 2006, 06:17 AM   #150
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The ownership of the copyright of photos by newspsper photogs is completely a function of the contract between the paper and the photog. If it's a "work for hire" relationship then the rights would be owned by the paper, but many other arrangements are possible. The paper, for example, may only own rights to photos that are printed in the paper . . . etc. Reuse of work has often been a point of friction between photogs and newspapers

So it would depend on the nature of the contract between your family and the original photographer.

I am guessing, after 30 years, it might be hard to find a contract or the photographer etc. But the photographer may have a family who inheritied rights to his work, or some commercial entity could have aquired the rights to the photographers work . . .

I would bet this guy actually knows this because he is asking your permission because he thinks you might have inherited your family's rights (separate from the photographer's rights if any) to the photo for which you might charge.

In anycase you need to have more facts that you have undertsand what the legal situation actually is. He's giving his wishful-thinking version of the facts, unless he knows more -- in which case he is being misleading at best.

If it were me I'd want to know what the commercial purposes are and think about any impact on my family member's reputation etc. Of course this is not real legal advise.
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