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


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Old January 8th, 2003, 07:59 AM   #31
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WGA registration is NOT the same thing as copyright registration. It is considered controlling with respect to disputes between WGA members as to who is the owner of a work, and is also evidence of first creation. It does not provide the protections of a federal copyright registration, including legal presumptions of ownership and validity, availability of statutory damages, standing to sue, etc.
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Old January 8th, 2003, 01:11 PM   #32
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Regarding the Moral Rights. Is there anything we can do to get this changed? Write congressmen and senators? I'll write letters every day if it does any good. Maybe we could get together and make a standard letter to get awareness out to the higher ups. Dylan here doesn't have to worry about this. Lucky guy.
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Old January 27th, 2003, 08:36 AM   #33
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Who does the copyright?

I just got the green light to do a martial arts training video. If it goes well, we'll be doing a whole series.

My question is, when all is said and done and I deliver an edited tape, is there any copyright issues I need to worry about, or is it all my clients? What if he wants some music or special graphics done? Will I own that or is it his?
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Old January 27th, 2003, 09:15 AM   #34
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This depends entirely on what you and your client agree to. You should have a written contract that spells out exactly who owns what rights to the final product.

In general, rights belong to the creator of the work and that would be you. If original music is written, those rights belong to the composer unless you or your client spelled out in another agreement with the composer who will own the rights etc.

Dpending on the money involved, and considering this may be an on-going relationship, it's worth you while to get help from a lawyer or, at least, look at the copyright site at the Library of Congress Web site.
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Old January 27th, 2003, 10:18 AM   #35
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Quote:
My question is, when all is said and done and I deliver an edited tape, is there any copyright issues I need to worry about, or is it all my clients?
If you are an independent contractor, absent a written agreement to the contrary, you own the copyright.

If you are an employee, absent a written agreement to the contrary, your employer owns the copyright.

It is absolutely incorrect to say that, in general, rights belong to the creator. In this context, everything depends on the nature of the employment relationship between the videographer and his client. Most videographers are independent contractors, e.g. they own their own "tools," work without supervision, etc. However, I can conceive of situations in which a videographer might be considered an employee from the standpoint of copyright ownership.

With that said, Peter's advice to have a written contract that spells out everything _in advance_ is good advice.
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Old January 27th, 2003, 08:41 PM   #36
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I think the answer you are looking for is, it depends.

If you "sell" him the rights to the video, he will own them.
The other side of that question feels like you are asking who needs to get the copyright for music graphics etc...

When you are making a video for distribution, especially to wide audiences, you need to make sure that EVERYTHING is either nondescript or you (or the client) have the rights to reproduce, which means you created it. This goes for everything from the music and graphics to the clothes worn by the actors and wallpaper in the background. It isn't always a huge deal but I would talk to a legal specialist in copyright law and make sure that those logos on the kickboxing gloves are ok to redistribute (via video) see where I'm heading?
In reality it is usually quite easy to get these permissions if you just call the company in question and tell them what you are doing (and maybe a bribe with a "special thanks" credit at the end).
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Old January 27th, 2003, 10:05 PM   #37
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I guess I would need Paul's further clarification (he is, after all, an attorney specializing in media law), but I've always been under the impression that the copyright belongs to the money. In other words, whoever foots the bill owns the copyright.

The creator brings you a concept and you spend your own money to make it happen, then you own it. The creator brings you a concept and pays you to make it happen, then they own it. Of course I'll defer to Paul for final disposition on this matter. Can't stress this enough: get it in writing!
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Old February 2nd, 2003, 04:42 PM   #38
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It would be nice if there were a clear answer to this question, but unfortunately there isn't. Generally the distinction between employee and independent contractor is made by courts using a series of somewhat vague factors that don't give a clear outcome. The flexibility is built into the system because the fact patterns are so varied.
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Old February 2nd, 2003, 06:19 PM   #39
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Well Paul and I may have a difference of opinion (and that's why there are judges), or perhaps semantics. I thought/think it is generally correct to say that, in the employment situation described in the initial post -- which seemed clearly to me to describe a client-contractor relationship. If the client were an employer, he would probably not be spoken of as a client.

In CCNV v. Reid (1989) the Supreme Court decided, unanimously, that the employee clause of the Copyright Act cannot be applied to independent contractors. How do you know if you are an independent contractor? There is a handy-dandy 13 factor test and ALL the factors have to be applied in making the determination -- a couple of which Paul points to.

If, as Paul himself points out, most videographers are independent contractors in the sense of CCNV v. Reid, and if most videographers are independent contractors then it would be true, in general, that they own, ipso facto, the rights to their work.

With that said, Paul is indeed right (and I was remiss not to say), that if you are an employee (see same 13 part test) you are not the owner of the rights. And Paul is right to advise that one should never just make assumptions about the status of the employment relationship -- and I think this was the spirit of my hasty comment.

There have been numerous cases in which a hiring party has tried to hijack rights by claiming that they were an employer after the fact of the creation of a work, and so one must be on guard. We agree that contract is the best protection.
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Old June 30th, 2003, 10:26 PM   #40
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Copyright Issues Regarding Cars in Films

I don't know if this has been discussed here before, tried a search and couldn't find anything.

I'm working on a short film and there needs to be a shot with a car pulling into a driveway. What exactly are the rules and regulations for what you can and cannot show?

Lets say that I want to show the whole car in frame from the back end. (Audi) . If I black out the Audi logo with gaffer's tape is it still a violation of copyright? Where is the line drawn between what you can and cannot show of a car? I see tons of low budget films that show dozens and dozens of cars and I can't imagine that they cleared the copyright issues for each and every car from dozens of car companies. What if I only show a part of the car, ie...the roof, or the lower end. Still a violation?

If you watch some films, even low budget ones, and there happens to be a scene where a busy street is seen way in the background, and literally hundreds of cars are driving by...surely they didn't need to get permission for each and every car...no?

See, if I only show a tiny piece of the car...no logo displayed, I am still showing the AUDI, so is it still an issue? I just don't see how you're supposed to have a car in a short film without getting copyright permission from the manufacturer, if you even need it.

Any definitive advice on this issue would be appreciated.
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Old June 30th, 2003, 11:54 PM   #41
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I'm not aware of any case in which an auto manufacturer has pressed copyright for vehicle use in films, is anyone else?

Imagine Dodge raising a fuss over the Bluesmobile falling apart!
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Old July 1st, 2003, 10:49 AM   #42
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Hi, thanks or the response. Surely there must be some laws surrounding it though, no? I mean, I assume I just can't blatantly stand right in front of an Audi logo in a film...or does it matter only if the film plans on being distributed? My film of course will not be, but I do plan on doing the festival and online route and I don't want an issue to arise later.
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Old July 11th, 2003, 12:47 PM   #43
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Moved the thread hoping it will attract a bit more responses..
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Old July 31st, 2003, 11:31 AM   #44
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Copyright music not in ASCAP,BMI, or SESAC

Hey,
Question here. I can't find the music I want to use in any of the big three databases or NMPA. So if i understand the information posted here, I need to secure the rights by going to the artist directly, right? I am attempting that as we speak, (naturally haven't heard back) but I am producing a very small production, maybe 1000 copies max for profit and am trying to cover the music end. Any advice on this situation? Techniques, experience? I'm almost in the student category, but I would guess the profit part would make a difference.

Any and all info is greatly appreicated.
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Old August 6th, 2003, 09:53 PM   #45
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Contact the Harry Fox Agency to establish if the work might be copyrighted. Do a search here, or Google and you'll find their contact information. Being a student doesn't absovle you from copyright liability.
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