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Old March 25th, 2005, 02:59 AM   #1
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Question: How can the NEWS go around shooting stuff and talking to people and...

Question: How can the NEWS go around shooting stuff and talking to people and...

Not have to get signed releases from people?


Please explain
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Old March 25th, 2005, 07:55 AM   #2
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Commercial use vs editorial

Editorial use (ie news reporting) has different rules then commercial use.

Making money selling for news is still editorial not commercial use
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Old March 25th, 2005, 08:21 AM   #3
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Oh so no money is made with the news? I think I have seldom seen a mainstream newscast that didn't have some form of advertizing... so? The question stands, I think.

Perhaps more money is made anually from news programming than from documentary video. At least in my market that is probably the case.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 08:53 AM   #4
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He's right, news is different.

But, remember....even they ride a very thin line.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 10:35 AM   #5
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So what distinguishes them as NEWS??

Explain the fine line?

I am producing a weekly tv show now...
and just don't want to have to worry about getting releases for everything freakin' person.

It's like a News Entertainment Magazine.... Say like a Local.... Entertainment Tonight
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Old March 25th, 2005, 10:48 AM   #6
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there isn't a clear answer...they give college classes for this stuff. lol

the simple approach is - are you news? ok, well state it on the show...make sure you make it CLEAR to the people you shoot, and have something CLEARLY identifiable on you that states NEWS. so maybe a jacket on the back says, ENTERTAINMENT NEWS or you have a flag on your hand held mic (a flag is the thing on the mic that says the network or station id)

also, make sure you get clearance from the people you get audio from...it's the audio you need to be careful of. you can't record audio of anyone unless you tell them and they agree. but, video is different...you can shoot in a PUBLIC place and capture them if it's included with the overall event. an example is...a football game. you can shoot the game and players, and you can shoot the crowd too. but, if you zoom in on someone in the crowd and stay there for a few seconds and the focus is now on this person....you are running the risk at that point. but, almost no one in public can do anything about being in a shot that includes an event or other people in a crowd.

there is a real world example - david letterman made fun of a woman on his show night after night for about week. it was a women at a tennis match picking her nose. well, if he did it for ONE night...he probably wouldn't have lost the law suit, but since he did it over and over...the focus was on her and nothing else. she was the focus and had no idea she was a part of the whole thing. she sued and won. but, if they had gone up to her and simply said to her...can you please say ON CAMERA that it's ok to use footage of you in the crowd today for a television show. if she said, yeah sure....then she's be SOL with the lawsuit. obviously, they had no release form or verbal and visual sign she knew she was being taped.

so, the audio thing is key - don't record audio from anyone unless you have a release form signed or visual/audio confirmation from them. make sure you have you and them on there "you're being taped right now...is that ok"? they must say "yes". i know it makes no sense to record them before they even say "yes", but you just have to ask OFF CAMERA first. once you know...turn it on and point it at them and record them after you re-state the whole deal. it's very important to keep that raw footage if you plan to use the content at anytime in the future!

there is a lot more to this, but the general rule is...if you are not sure then don't F around! people do sue for this type of thing. but, overall they don't do it unless you made them look bad or you weren't clear about what your motives were. most people don't care much and don't pursue anything...but, libel and slander are serious. look up the definitions and remember them - they are not the same thing. but, you need to know about them both and also learn more about copyrights too. it's all important. with copyright..the general rule is "if you didn't create it yourself from scratch then it's someone elses and you need permission to use it". that's the general rule....people break the rules. but, if you are serious and professional you don't break those rules ever. it will haunt you...trust me! i sued an award winning director for ripping my television pilot a few years ago. no one F's with murph :))
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Old March 25th, 2005, 12:01 PM   #7
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These days news, entertainment, public relations, and advertising are blending into a single foul smelling blob. It will be interesting to see how the courts adapt. You just don't know what you're watching on television anymore.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 12:41 PM   #8
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Which is all the more reason to know what you're producing! You know the deal...ignorance is no excuse when it comes to breaking laws. That hasn't and won't change....
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Old March 25th, 2005, 01:05 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Christopher C. Murphy : ignorance is no excuse when it comes to breaking laws. -->>>

Then there's also the school of thought that says "it is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission..." ;-)
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Old March 25th, 2005, 01:15 PM   #10
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if you're a producer...remember these quotes:

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" - W. Shakespeare

"All bad precedents begin with justifiable measures." - Julius Ceasar

"If we cannot secure all our rights, let us secure what we can." - Thomas Jefferson

"We will either find a way, or make one." - Hannibal

"Send lawyers, guns and money, the shit has hit the fan." - Warren Zevon
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Old March 25th, 2005, 04:08 PM   #11
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Thanks for the all the great info guys!


You guys... always help me out so much!


THANKS!
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Old March 25th, 2005, 08:29 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ignacio Rodriguez : Oh so no money is made with the news? I think I have seldom seen a mainstream newscast that didn't have some form of advertizing... so? The question stands, I think.

Perhaps more money is made anually from news programming than from documentary video. At least in my market that is probably the case. -->>>

Sorry for the late reply

Yes money is being made with news as i mentioned but that does not make it 'commercial use' which is the important part

Obviously there are things that are hard to put on either side but most times you can easily pick the correct side of the line

Examples

taking a picture at a sporting event and selling the picture to a newspaper, newsagency or similar would be editorial use

For it to be editorial use it has to be a newsworthy event as well

Also important the footage has to be taken legally without breaking any laws. Also the right to privacy comes into play as well. If you take pics/video of someone through a window with a 1200mm lens then this will generally get you in trouble.

You can go on for weeks discussin all the angles of this but in general for most uses it is fairly clear IMO.

There are also grey areas where even though it is commercial use photographers and videographers are doing business all the time. For example sporting events where pictures and videos are sold to the kids/parents. This generally works because you are selling to the kids/parents.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 10:55 PM   #13
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It's not as simple as saying "We're news" Again, is it a newsworthy event, was it shot in a public place, a lot comes into play here. One of the new gray areas is does an Internet site rrepresent a legitimate news or editorial outlet? Does the person involved have any reasonable expectation of privacy? Working both sides of the equation, shooting news as a stringer, as well as producing a weekly broadcast television show, on the show we release everything and everyone who is 'clearly identifiable'.
What we do is not news worthy, even tho it is a program about local music, simply calling it "Entertainment News" does not make it such. A major star performing in Podunk USA may be newsworthy in that market, three weeks after it happens, it's probably no longer truly 'newswrothy'. Lotas of gray areas, but the basic concept is, are you recognized as a legitimate news outlet.
What I have found to be a good rule of thumb, is if in yopur mind, you have to question the use, whether as news, or pertaining to copyright, right to publicity/privacy issues - then you probably need a release. If you are trying to think of ways to justify not getting release/clearance - then you probably need it.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 08:47 AM   #14
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Another dimension to this topic is that professional broadcast journalists claim to adhere to a code of ethics while covering stories. Like the following http://www.rtnda.org/ethics/coe.shtml from the Radio and Television News Directors' Association.

If you read through RTNDA code in the context of the current condition of TV news it is amusing, but it has been one reason why, apart from any legal specifics, the media's editorial use has been tolerated. That is, people have been able to trust that news organizations will make ethical use of the material they shoot/record. One could make a good argument that such trust has broken or is breaking down.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 10:04 AM   #15
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How do all these news tabloid tv shows like e-t, extra, etc.... all exist???


Curious


thanks guys... this is a great thread
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