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Taking Care of Business
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Old January 26th, 2007, 06:33 PM   #16
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I thought that I would follow up with our process of obtaining release forms for some of the products that found their way into one of our scenes.

Our main character has a problem with Mountain Dew and incessantly chugs the stuff, so that was a big one for us to cross off the list.

We have just received word Pepsi co. and have to laugh in regards to the criteria that our character had to meet. –

“As long as the character is not overweight or under 15, then we're should be fine”.

Just need to fax the release and they said they’ll sign it…
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Old March 17th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Peter Rhalter View Post
...could someone construct a model of a building, or place, and make a film using that model without getting permission? I guess this comes down to, does the owner of a physical property own the IDEA of the place, as well?
I had a chance to pose this question to an intellectual property attorney last week. The answer is that one cannot model a building exactly after a real structure because the architect may have a copyright on the design. This is especially an issue if the building is easily recognizable, like the TransAmerica in San Francisco.

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Old March 18th, 2007, 01:23 AM   #18
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First, I am an intellectual property attorney. I don't like to comment on what other attorneys may say. However, the one you spoke to is wrong:

17 U.S.C. 120
Scope of exclusive rights in architectural works

(a) Pictorial representations permitted. The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place.
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Old March 18th, 2007, 01:44 AM   #19
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Fascinating. Thanks.

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Peter
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Old March 18th, 2007, 05:27 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Paul Tauger View Post
First, I am an intellectual property attorney. I don't like to comment on what other attorneys may say. However, the one you spoke to is wrong:

17 U.S.C. 120
Scope of exclusive rights in architectural works

(a) Pictorial representations permitted. The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place.
Paul,

First thank you for all your help, I would like to expand this question to artwork on a building.

What if the building owner has allowed or commissioned an artist to paint a mural on that building and it is in plain view from a public space. Could you film a scene where someone is walking along the sidewalk and include that building and artwork?

We used some of these buildings in a film, I could get releases, as I know the artists but what if I did not or could not get hold of one of them?

Thank you,
Bill
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Old March 18th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #21
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Bill, as you know, I'm really not in a position to give specific legal advice, except in the context of my firm's retained clients. Don't rely on what I say here, as it is just for general discussion.

With that said, I'm not aware of a specific mural case. However, I wouldn't define a mural as an "architectural work" within the context of the statute (nor would I define sculptures that are placed in public courtyards that way, either). I usually approach questions like this by postulating an extreme case. Take, for example, an advertising mural painted on the side of a building. The mural contains trademarks as well as copyright-protected expression. A tight shot of the mural would, I would think, be infringing, notwithstanding the fact that it's painted on a building. There is certainly nothing to distinguish a work of "pure art" from a work of "commercial art," at least in this context.

I would, therefore, be extremely careful about including such works in shots of buildings. It would certainly be prudent to get a release.

Incidently, I can think of at least some contexts in which an architectural could constitute a protectable trademark. Note that there is no analog to the copyright statutory exemption for architectural works in trademark law.

This is a shoot-from-the-hip answer, but I suspect it is the correct one.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 04:24 AM   #22
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Re: Will I get caught?

While I am neither a lawyer nor any kind of expert in this field , this thread reminds me of a discussion over on DPR regarding still photography , which shares many legalities with moving images .

An example which cropped up was the Eiffel Tower in Paris . While the tower itself is part of the Paris skyline , and probably the most iconic feature of the city , there is also a light show which is visible after dark .

The tower itself is considered so well known , and an integral part of the city skyline , that there are apparently no restrictions on photographing it , indeed it is probably the most popular backdrop for visitors to have their photo taken in front of .

The architectural lightshow visible at night , however , apparently is copyright and administered by a private company . While they don't mind tourists taking pictures of it for non commercial use , they will and do pursue professional photographers who feature it in commercial works . The crucial word is 'feature' as it is apparently ok for it to be part of the skyline in the background of a shot , but not for it to be prominent - where one draws the line I don't know .

I'd also venture that it is nigh on impossible to shoot anything without commercial products appearing in the background ! In a street shot would you really seek clearance from the maker of every vehicle passing by in the background , or the local bus company because one of their buses passed by in the background ? Personally , I wouldn't bother if it was incidental and part of real life , something seen every day by the populous at large .

Re the supermarket shots , surely the answer is just to use narrow depth of field and throw products on the shelves in the background out of focus ?
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Old May 11th, 2015, 11:52 AM   #23
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Re: Will I get caught?

This question comes from the UK.

I was given the opportunity to video a band performance, they wanted first refusal on the footage. In the end they didn't want it. The band are fairly well known, but they don't own the publishing rights to the songs in the video. I wanted to release the video mainly to the fans, to cover the publishing rights I can purchase a Limited Manufacture license from the PRS (UK collecting service for music industry) this would allow me to make a designated amount of copies. I also offered the band a financial return on any DVDs sold.

Firstly I informed the band of my intention their first reply was they wouldn't endorse it but I didn't expect them to but they couldn't stop me, I then recieved an email from a media company saying they represented two members of the band and asking to "please" not proceed with this project.

If I could sell all the copies would realize in the region of 1000

Do you think I will be infringing their copyright.

I was intially there to do some video work for the support act, but the main act became interested but nothing formal was agreed. The support act subsequently folded and I've ended up with nothing from my evenings work and all the editing.

Thinking this may be another hard lesson of life!
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