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Old March 8th, 2012, 05:00 AM   #1
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Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

I shot some stock footage which includes a new office building which is a new landmark and a nice example of modern architecture. I shot it from a footbridge and from the pavement outside and one of the shots includes the name of the building. I was wondering if I am legally allowed to use it.

While we're on the subject, what would be the easiest way to remove unwanted telephone cables like the one in the corner of the screenshot below?
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Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?-cable.png  
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Old March 8th, 2012, 05:28 AM   #2
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

The answer to your question is highly dependent on the legal jurisdiction where you're working ... what's legal use in the USA may be illegal in Thailand or vice versa. Consult with a local lawyer.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 05:36 AM   #3
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

That'll cost me! But i'll ask around, thanks. There's an expat forum I can consult that may know.

As for the cable issue, the only think I can think of is to make a double layer, use a different but clean sky shot and garbage matte the top right hand corner of the top layer, but that seems a bit of a shoddy way of doing it.

Weather or not I can use the shot, this would be a useful technique to know in the future if anyone has any tips on this I'd be grateful to hear.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 06:58 AM   #4
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

I'm no lawyer but my understanding is in the USA if it's viewable from a public place and your not trespassing by video taping through a window into there building which now would be trespassing you should be ok. Like stated already I would check the state and local laws for the country your filming.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 07:30 AM   #5
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

A garbage matte would probably be the quickest way to get rid of that wire, especially in a static shot. Just duplicate the shot, layer it on track 2 and move across a clean piece of sky from the left to mask the cable. The colour difference looks minimal so you should get away with it if you feather the edge.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 09:18 AM   #6
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

If the camera shot was locked down - no movement - grab a still frame and take it into Photoshop. Clone out the wire (painting on a new layer), then make the background transparent. You will end up with a little "blue sky band-aid" that you can super over the video clip. Have done this to clean up interior shots and works like a champ.

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Old March 8th, 2012, 06:02 PM   #7
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

In the UK, if it's shot from public land or somewhere you have permission to be, there's no problem. What can become a problem is that what may appear to be public land may not be - it may be private although public are normally granted access. (Canary Wharf is a good example.)
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Old March 8th, 2012, 07:50 PM   #8
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

I have a good friend who works in the building (when he's here) so I'll ask him when he returns.

As for the cable, I have only ever used FCP with Photoshop when I've needed to make a png.

(To Jeff) Cheers, that sounds like it'll work - providing of course that I make all necessary adjustments before taking the screenshot.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 08:04 PM   #9
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

In the US you can run into trouble filming some federal buildings.

In 2010: I was filming from across the street at a row of flags in front the federal building in Los Angeles. It wasn't 7 minutes before TWO suits with badges were grilling me and my family about what we were doing, they were very adamant that it is illegal to film a federal building without authorization. I showed them that I was zoomed-in framing only the flags in the shot, it didn't matter to them. They requested I delete any footage I had, which I had none at that point. They got our names and wrote out our story in their little notebooks.

We packed up and moved into the military cemetery behind us and got the shots we came for, ...then we got the shot flags from further out.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 02:41 PM   #10
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Wheelan View Post
In the US you can run into trouble filming some federal buildings.
This is a HUGE misconception among law enforcement personnel. In fact, in a 2010 lawsuit filed against Homeland Security for this very issue, the ruling reaffirmed the public's general right to photograph the exterior of federal buildings from publicly accessible spaces. The ruling also required that federal officers be informed of this ruling.

I don't know anything about Thailand law, but in the US, copyright law explicitly allows photographing or filming the exterior of buildings from public places. (The exact wording: "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 9th, 2012, 03:47 PM   #11
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

I'm glad you mention that Chris. It is more of what I was thinking when I was filming the flags.

The officers were pretty harsh with us and was mad about the way we were treated.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 07:54 PM   #12
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

From what I know about the way things work here, if you ask to film a location they will say no and will be unable to give an explanation. Either that, or a fee will be required, which will go straight into the back pocket of whoever you're dealing with, just like 80% of all those international tsunami donations back in 2004.
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Old March 10th, 2012, 02:29 AM   #13
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

After a hellish experience on a shoot last year, I decided, legal or not, I'm not shooting anything outdoors without permission. It's just not worth dealing with cops or angry business owners, even if they're in the wrong legally speaking. It's all well and good to talk about how you have the right, but YOU try arguing with police. See how that works out for you.
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Old March 10th, 2012, 06:25 AM   #14
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

Carrying a printout of this website can be handy around London:

Metropolitan Police Service - About the Met - Photography advice
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Old March 10th, 2012, 11:11 AM   #15
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Re: Do you need permission to shoot a building externally?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Davis View Post
This is a HUGE misconception among law enforcement personnel. In fact, in a 2010 lawsuit filed against Homeland Security for this very issue, the ruling reaffirmed the public's general right to photograph the exterior of federal buildings from publicly accessible spaces. The ruling also required that federal officers be informed of this ruling.

I don't know anything about Thailand law, but in the US, copyright law explicitly allows photographing or filming the exterior of buildings from public places. (The exact wording: "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.")
Thanks for posting this Chris. DVInfo is such a great resource!
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