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Old August 4th, 2006, 10:50 PM   #1
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Copyright Infringement? Need some help.

I am working on a short film and in the film, one of the central plot points is around a quote from an Allen Ginsberg poem. Now Ginsberg is never referenced, nor is the poem it is from, just the one line. And the line is just seen in writing on a piece of paper. Is this copyright infringement? I need to know because I want to send this to festivals and not get sued. Also, If I were to show a shot of books with their titles clearly visible and readable, is that legal? I think that one is alright, but I might as well make sure since I'm here. Thanks again for the help!

Mitch
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Old August 4th, 2006, 11:30 PM   #2
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http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=49607
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Old August 5th, 2006, 12:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Also, If I were to show a shot of books with their titles clearly visible and readable, is that legal? I think that one is alright, but I might as well make sure since I'm here.
The following website gives legal information in actual english (i.e. not legalese).

http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/comics/zoomcomic.html

Those books in the background should be fine.

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I am working on a short film and in the film, one of the central plot points is around a quote from an Allen Ginsberg poem. Now Ginsberg is never referenced, nor is the poem it is from, just the one line.
This sounds like plagarism? (I'm not really talking about law here, although the work is probably copyrighted and you'd have to figure out if you fall under fair use.)
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Old August 6th, 2006, 11:53 PM   #4
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Ok I have another solution. I read the stuff but some of it didn't make full sense to me. So here is my solution. If I were to reference the name of the poem, for instance, have the note say "Sunflower Sutra Line 28" or something like that. Would that work? I REALLY need to use this, but want to be legal about it.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 09:51 AM   #5
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Does anybody have any input? I need some help here it is quite urgent.

Thanks
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Old August 7th, 2006, 10:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mitch Buss
Does anybody have any input? I need some help here it is quite urgent.

Thanks
You really, really need to consult with an entertainment law & intellectual property law attorney to get a definitive answer, Mitch. Anything you get from an online forum is going to be educated guesswork at best. The Duke University site referenced earlier is the best online source I'm aware of and if after reading through it you still have questions, write them down to make most efficient use of the time and spring for the $$ for an hour with an attorney specializing in this area of law and who can really give you a proper answer. It will be a relatively few dollars very well spent. If need be you're not that far from Milwaukee or Chicago, not exactly small towns with only a few country lawyers and you might well be able to do it all by phone.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 12:42 PM   #7
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You could also try asking the rights holder for permission?
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Old August 8th, 2006, 04:35 AM   #8
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Honestly I would not lose sleep over it. I don't think anyone from the Ginsberg estate is going to hunt you down and sue you out of exsistance over it.
But if you want to go somewhere with the film, you're going to need the rights. I'd just ask an attorney.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 12:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mitch Buss
I am working on a short film and in the film, one of the central plot points is around a quote from an Allen Ginsberg poem. Now Ginsberg is never referenced, nor is the poem it is from, just the one line. And the line is just seen in writing on a piece of paper. Is this copyright infringement? I need to know because I want to send this to festivals and not get sued. Also, If I were to show a shot of books with their titles clearly visible and readable, is that legal? I think that one is alright, but I might as well make sure since I'm here. Thanks again for the help!

Mitch
It might be infringement -- there's no way to tell without a lot more detail. There is no magic amount of protected expression that can be copied without incurring infringement liability. Whether or not this is infringement, or whether a defense to infringement, e.g. fair use, might apply is highly fact specific. You should invest a couple of bucks and talk to an IP attorney in your area and find out. Your local bar associate can make a referral if you don't know anyone.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 12:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Adam Bray
Honestly I would not lose sleep over it. I don't think anyone from the Ginsberg estate is going to hunt you down and sue you out of exsistance over it.
Oooops. Bad advice.

If the film is going to be shown in film festivals, it is quite possible that the Ginsberg estate would hunt the producer down and sue over it.

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But if you want to go somewhere with the film, you're going to need the rights. I'd just ask an attorney.
Now, that's good advice.
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