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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 11th, 2010, 02:30 PM   #1
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video rights for owner

Lets say I own a video production company. I go on a four-wheeler ride with a bunch of other people and video the days events. I later take the footage and turn it into a video inwhich I sell on the internet and in magazines for a profit. What legal issues could the people in the video have? Do I need their permission to use them and their property in the video? Could they later sue you for part of the profit made from the video?
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Old January 11th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #2
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First of all, anybody can sue you for anything. They don't need to get government permission to file a lawsuit. So the question isn't "can they sue", the question is "are they likely to sue".

If you really wanted to create a video for distribution using the footage (it doesn't matter if you sell it or make a profit) you would be wise to get releases from the property owner and the participants.

Here is a very good website to read (it's all about still photography, but the concepts apply to video): Model Releases
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Old January 11th, 2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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Thanks Chris that is a helpful article.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 05:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Davis View Post
First of all, anybody can sue you for anything. They don't need to get government permission to file a lawsuit. So the question isn't "can they sue", the question is "are they likely to sue".

If you really wanted to create a video for distribution using the footage (it doesn't matter if you sell it or make a profit) you would be wise to get releases from the property owner and the participants.

Here is a very good website to read (it's all about still photography, but the concepts apply to video): Model Releases
I've just done a quick scan of the article (I'm in China at the moment and don't have time to do a protracted read). Unfortunately, it is rife with misinformation and, in a number of cases, dead wrong.

If I get some time in the next couple of weeks, I'll critique it in detail but I definitely would not rely on it.

Note: I am one of those lawyers he's talking about, though "First Amendment lawyer," means something different in the legal industry -- the term he wanted was "Intellectual Property" or IP lawyer.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 08:27 AM   #5
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whenever possible, I try to get a release signed. I have a standard release which I wrote compiling several release forms into one document and then gave it to my lawyer to sort out.

It is a full page of small print but keeps me and my heirs (successors in owning the rights) in the clear. It clarifies the compensation (if any) for the shots I take and what I can do with them. I have a TFP (time for prints) version and a commercial use version. each with an additional version if minors are concerned.

Most people don't read it carefully but just sign it. However, signing it makes them aware that there is an ownership issue and that I am concerned about it.
It makes them aware of my intentions.
Anyway, in the end it all comes down to whether they trust me or not. This especially concerns nude photography. The release just keeps me in the clear for the future, for example if one of my models marries the president and wants to ban the pictures, they cannot.
It also is very clear on what my rights are and what I can use the pictures for, here it depends largely on the compensation they receive. if it is just prints or money or nothing.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #6
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BTW, you don't need the release before you capture their image (as a still or video) but you should get the release before you publish it. So it's good enough to go back later and say "Hey mate, you know the four-wheeler video I took lat summer? Can I get your release to use that in an upcoming DVD?"

Now that puts you in a worse position (because the subject knows there is possibly a money-making project in the works) than if you had obtained the release beforehand, but at least you're not out of luck.
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