DV Info Net

DV Info Net (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/)
-   Taking Care of Business (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/taking-care-business/)
-   -   Disclaimer Sign and Notice-Public Shoot (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/taking-care-business/44507-disclaimer-sign-notice-public-shoot.html)

Cate Poole May 13th, 2005 09:03 AM

Disclaimer Sign and Notice-Public Shoot
I am documenting a conference per request of the organizers. I need to notify attendees that they will be video taped.The footage will not be sold, but may be put on DVD or the web. DVDs may be sold to attendees after the conference. (TBD)

I need verbage for a sign and for a ntoice that will appear in the conference printed binder. Does anyone have good wording for the sign and the notice?

You can contact me by email if you like:
cate at alteredimage dot com

Bob Costa May 13th, 2005 10:43 AM

"Videotaping in Progress"

"If you pass this point, you may be videotaped".

Marco Leavitt May 13th, 2005 10:57 AM

I know this is done routinely, but I've always been skeptical that really accomplishes anything legally. I would regard it as more of a courtesy to the attendees to let them know they're being filmed. I doubt it would protect you in the event someone raises a fuss after the DVD came out.

Mike Cavanaugh May 13th, 2005 05:09 PM

Maybe Paul will chime in with his usual sage advice. Things I have used at large events like conferences, festivals etc.

1. Have a photo release signed as part of the registration procedure. I developed a multi-line form that is kept at the desk.

2. Post a sign reminding people that taping is in progress.

3. Use CUs only on featured people like speakers, performers. Keep everything else wide unless you have specific permission.

4. Never shoot kids without specific authorization from parent or guardian.

Marco Leavitt May 13th, 2005 09:46 PM

Those all seem like good tips Mike. As little faith as I have in posting "Shooting in progress," notices I'd probably do it anyway too. It sure couldn't hurt. At the very least, it puts the camera shy on alert to avoid the camera.

Brian Wells May 14th, 2005 04:43 AM

Try This: standard red flag from a reality series i worked on:
MTV Networks
A Viacom Company


Is currently videotaping and
cablecasting scenes at this
location for possible inclusion
in television programs.

If you do not with to be
photographed or to appear on
television, or to be otherwise
recorded, please leave this
location during our

By remaining in this immediate
vicinity, you are giving THE NAME
consent to videotape, record,
and cablecast your picture,
likeness, voice and statements.

Marco Leavitt May 14th, 2005 08:54 AM

Obviously, with a company like MTV a lot of lawyers have looked over the wording of that notice. There's something I just don't get about signs like that though. I don't see how the public is obligated to allow production companies to set the terms. In other words, I have a right to walk down the sidewalk. How can a video company compel me to agree or disagree to anything? I know that privacy rights are different in public spaces, but that's a separate topic. Let's take a concert, or the conference mentioned. I've bought a ticket to be there. I wasn't told about taping up front. Now that I've paid, I don't see how somebody can just throw up a sign claiming that I'm making an affirmative action binding me to a defacto contract just for enjoying what I've paid for. Of course, I'm not a lawyer. I'm just saying it doesn't make any sense to me, and I'm curious to know how that all works. Mike's suggestion to get releases signed at registration seems a lot more sensible to me. What if somebody refuses though? Are they actually denied entry?

Pete Bauer May 14th, 2005 09:42 AM

Hi Marco,

Here's my totally non-lawyer thoughts on those notices:

By definition, in a public place neither the company shooting video nor the "bystander" has an inherent, exclusive right to occupy and make use of the space. We share the public domain. By giving notice of its activities, the company is giving the bystander a choice to appear, or not appear, in the location where the video is being shot, and therefore appear, or not appear, in the footage. The bystander doesn't HAVE to leave. Conversely, the bystander has no exclusive right to say the video may not be shot just so the bystander can walk by that exact spot at that exact time. Presumably, simple courtesy between the parties is all that is necessary to prevent harm to anyone. Even movie stars have to deal with getting their pics taken in public when they don't want it to happen.

On the other hand, jurisdictions generally have laws that allow for coordination with law enforcement to temporarily control or limit activities in a certain location to enhance overall public safety and/or good. I very much appreciate this concept when I'm safely running a marathon on a briefly closed street that would otherwise be bustling with traffic. Similarly, to encourage artistic expression, localities often will temporarily limit public access so a video or film shoot can occur without endangering anyone. The bystander may find this a minor, temporary inconvenience, but must accept it as within the bounds of law as "necessary and proper." This all is just a method of trying to equitably manage competition for the public space amongst the various users.

In the situation you mentioned of a concert where the customer (not a disinterested bystander) might reasonably NOT have known their likeness was going to be used, I'd agree that is not fair. I'd suspect, though, that something on the purchased ticket would point to the granting of such permission as a condition of sale. Just like we have to live with airlines limiting their liability for losing your luggage...its probably hidden in the fine print. Or like our then 7yo daughter, who was hardly offended -- without having given approval to be video'd -- when the TV cameras at a hockey game caught her being her usual wild-child self and she was declared The Fan of The Game. We all know that cameras are ubiquitous in the public domain; just the way it is.

As far as a conference like Cate is concerned about...I just got back from my annual professional conference; it is standard for there to be at least audio recordings of the presentations and of audience questions at the end of a presentation. The only "disclaimer" is that the meeting agenda booklet more or less advertises the sale of audio tapes and CDs of the sessions. Even though it isn't an explicit advisory/warning, it is near impossible to claim I didn't know my stupid comments were being recorded! So if I don't want my voice on tape, I don't ask questions (after all, there are no stupid questions; only stupid people asking questions!). ;-)

Dylan Couper May 14th, 2005 11:37 PM

This thread is currently being used by Dylan Couper Productions.
By reading this post you agree to pay Dylan Couper Productions $5.
If you do not wish to pay for reading this thread, please stop reading.
If you are still reading, you have consented to pay Dylan Couper Productions $5.
You now owe Dylan Couper Productions $5.
Please contact Dylan Couper Productions via the DVinfo email system for directions on how to pay.

You have not paid yet.
With compound interest, you now owe Dylan Couper Productions $6.

Marco Leavitt May 15th, 2005 01:53 AM

Dylan, that is the funniest thing I have ever read. You rock dude.

Pete Bauer May 15th, 2005 06:51 AM

Notice to Dylan Couper Productions (herinafter known as DP): I bought this thread yesterday. Cease and desist.

Your lawyers will hear from my lawyers. They will collect all those $5 and $1 bills (at least the US cash; for public relations purposes, I'll "kindly" allow DP to keep the Canadian $1's).

I'm not sorry to plow your business under like last year's turnips; it's just business. No hard feelings, right?

Or, we could just agree to share the thread before Chris (in his role as The Law) shows up and claims eminent domain? Whatdoyasay? ;-)

Dennis Vogel May 15th, 2005 08:15 PM

These "Taping In Progress" signs strike me the same as the signs in dry cleaners and parking garages that say "Not Responsible For Lost Goods". They can post the sign but it doesn't necessarily absolve them of responsibility.

I sure wish one of our resident legal advisors would give us an overview of the legality of these signs (the taping signs, not the dry cleaners!).

Good luck.


Paul Tauger May 26th, 2005 10:35 PM

I've never researched the case law for this, so I'll confine myself to general principles of contract law.

1. As a matter of law, contract formation requires a "meeting of the minds," i.e. two parties have to agree on the nature of the contract.

2. A contract must be supported by consideration, i.e. there has to be something given in exchange for what is asked.

Here we are at the trial Vinny Videographer in an action brought for commercial appropriation of likeness and false light defamation by Brian Bystander. Brian is on the stand.

Vinny's Lawyer: Now, Mr. Bystander, isn't it true that you saw the sign saying, "By walking down this street you consent to be filmed and have your likeness exploited by Vinny Videographer?"

Brian: Nope. I never saw any sign.

Judge: Hmmmm. There can be no meeting of the minds, because Vinny was never aware of Vinny's offer to contract contained on the sign. Therefore there was no contract formation -- and no license to use Brian's likeness.

Vinny's Lawyer: But your honor! Maybe Brian's not telling the truth. The trier-of-fact must evaluate Brain's credibility.

Judge: Hmmmm. Okay, you may have a point. Brian's lawyer, what do you say to that?

Brian's Lawyer: Your honor, if I can call Vinny Videographer out-of-turn, I can wrap up this trial in 5 minutes.

Judge: Okay, you're on!

Brian's Lawyer (to Vinny): Mr. Videographer, did you PAY Mr. Bystander anything?

Vinny: Well, no.

Brian's Lawyer: Brian was on a public street, right?

Vinny: Well, yes, but we had a permit to film there.

Brian's Lawyer: Did your permit authorize you to close the sidewalk where Brian was standing?

Vinny: Well, no.

Brian's Lawyer: So you don't dispute that Brian didn't need your permission to be where he was when you filmed him?

Vinny: Well, no.

Brian's Lawyer: Tell the court what Brian received in exchange for being filmed.

Vinny: Well, nothing.

Brian's Lawyer (to the judge): Your Honor, I move for summary adjudication of issues -- as there was no consideration for the supposed contract upon which Vinny Videographer relies, I'd ask the court to rule that none was ever formed, and that no license existed to use my client's likeness.

Judge: Nice job, counselor. The motion is granted.

Okay, it's late and I've gotten a little carried away here, but you get the idea. The analysis would be different if consideration was offered, the filming took place on private property, etc.

Dylan Couper May 27th, 2005 12:04 AM


Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
Notice to Dylan Couper Productions (herinafter known as DP): I bought this thread yesterday. Cease and desist.

Or, we could just agree to share the thread before Chris (in his role as The Law) shows up and claims eminent domain? Whatdoyasay? ;-)

I say we split what we can and run for Mexico before this goes Enron on us... :D

And to Paul:

Thanks for that breakdown of what would happen in court. I think it helps all of us to see how much (or little) protection this type of defense affords us in the real world.

Marco Leavitt May 27th, 2005 08:23 AM

Wow, thanks for that post Paul. I think I'm going to print that out. One of the cleverest posts I've ever read in here.

I think one thing that makes shooting in public places possible at all is that many (probably most) people LIKE being filmed. Probably a lot depends on how badly they don't want to be in your movie and how much money they're prepared to spend on lawyers over the issue. By and large, I would think shooting in public places is probably pretty safe.

I work for a newspaper, and a couple of months ago our photographer got some pictures at a mini-mall that included regular shoppers. One woman gave her verbal consent to appear in the pictures, and even gave her name to the photographer. Later she changed her mind and showed up at our office demanding that we not use the pictures, and was very belligerent about it, to the point where the managing editor had to threaten to call the police before she would leave. She had given her permission initially, and maybe we would have legally be able to run the pictures, but no way were we about to. Having to deal with that woman again, in or out of court, just wouldn't be worth it.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:50 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2021 The Digital Video Information Network