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-   -   Police Department Logos in my video? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/taking-care-business/77533-police-department-logos-my-video.html)

Jason Simpkins October 15th, 2006 06:08 PM

Police Department Logos in my video?
 
I do a lot of video where I film police traffic stops etc. I was told that I have to have permission from the department to use there logos on there cars?

But, on the other hand I also shoot freelance video for the local news station and they don't have to get permission to use the footage.

I ask this question because as I know it to be as long as the officer is in public view in a public place I can film whatever I want and I do. But I was recently watching the show cheaters and when the police cars showed up they had the department names blurred out. So, it made me wonder.

Also I have read topics on songs but can I put a popular song in my video? Everyone knows it is not my song. I don't want to get sued either cause this will be seen by thousands of people.

Thanks for any advice.

Jason

Jarrod Whaley October 15th, 2006 06:22 PM

I'm not exactly sure what to tell you about the PD logos, so I'll leave that part of your question to someone else.

As for the part of your question pertaining to copyrighted music: no, you can't do that. :) Not without permission from the copyright holder. It'll be so expensive that you might as well not even bother trying to get permission. I'd recommend making friends with a lot of musicians in your area. :)

Greg Boston October 15th, 2006 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Simpkins
But, on the other hand I also shoot freelance video for the local news station and they don't have to get permission to use the footage.

But I was recently watching the show cheaters and when the police cars showed up they had the department names blurred out. So, it made me wonder.

There are different rules pertaining to 'news' and 'non-news'. This is true in print, still, and video.

Welcome to DVINFO Jason from a fellow DFW area freelancer.

-gb-

Glenn Davidson October 15th, 2006 07:18 PM

A lot of city and county law enforment agencies are protecting their logo with copyright. They want a piece of the pie if you make the next 'Cops'.

Jason Simpkins October 15th, 2006 09:00 PM

Well crap on the audio stuff. I debated whether to use the music in it and I did. I had to in a way as one of the scenes has a car driving up with the radio on and I had to add a track to that song to extend it. Pussy Cat Dolls, Start me up and some other tracks.


Thanks for the info though.

Jarrod Whaley October 15th, 2006 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Simpkins
I debated whether to use the music in it and I did. I had to in a way as one of the scenes has a car driving up with the radio on and I had to add a track to that song to extend it. Pussy Cat Dolls, Start me up and some other tracks.

I do understand how difficult or even impossible it is to control what music people in real-life situations are listening to--believe me, I do. At the same time, saying "I had to use this music" to a copyright holder just isn't going to come off as a valid excuse. It's sad and maybe a little bit ridiculous (at least in my opinion) that you can't use music coming from someone's car stereo, for example, in non-fiction work without paying through the nose for the privilege... but that's just the way it is.

Glenn Chan October 15th, 2006 10:54 PM

See the copyright law sticky at the top of this forum.

The law is supposed to allow fair use where there is incidental music in the background. I think lawyers have/give different opinions on that subject. Certainly, if lawyers tell you not to use the music (i.e. not worth the risk), it is "safe" advice for them to give.

If you need to get errors & omissions insurance (which would protect you or the production against such lawsuits), their policies/opinion may determine what constitutes fair use for your project.

1b- When people get into lawsuits, I don't think they know for sure what the outcome will be. i.e. the Mattel suit got thrown out and they were forced to pay for the other side's legal fees. So when it comes to law, there's a certain level of uncertainty and opinion. There's less uncertainty when similar cases have occured before (case law).

2- Cheaters blurs out many things anyways... it doesn't really hurt them creatively to blur out the police logos.

Jason Simpkins October 15th, 2006 11:48 PM

Thanks for the info Glenn. My video is done and burned. I am going to take my chances on the music and hope if anything did happen it would just be a ceis and disists. (I am to tired to look the spelling on that one) This is a promo video that will be at a show for about a week. I really don't care if the police like me using there logos or not. I filmed them in plain view not like we don't see that on the news every night.

In the future however I may have to cut out any music.

Jason

Greg Boston October 16th, 2006 07:32 AM

It also occurred to me that 'Cheaters' may be blurring logos on police vehicles to obscure the location of the shoot due to the show's nature, not to keep out of copyright issues.

Jason, just because you can see it on the street in plain view doesn't make it legal for use in your video. Just as music you can plainly hear in public doesn't allow you to use it. Like I said, there are different rules for journalism.

-gb-

Jason Simpkins October 16th, 2006 07:49 AM

Greg I didn't realize you were just up the street so hello. I am confused now and I am going to have to find out what I shoot on the street can be used or not. I don't want to post all over the board what I do either.

I do some freelance work. I just shoot it and sell it to a local news station. I was told by a good friend at the news that anything in plain public view could be used. I have gone by that every since then. With people yelling at me, spraying water on my camera, trying to take my camera you name it all for video.

Now that you mention journalism it makes me wonder. I was told by someoene the other day they thought that a police department might have to give permission for the logos to be used and that is what made me question it. I also have a friend his a police officer and he told me that I could film them all I wanted just don't ask any questions or then it becomes an interview and I would have to get permission to use the video also.

I thought the same thing you did about cheaters but then they clearly are interviewing a guy with the Dallas skyline in the back but maybe not everyone knows what the Dallas skyline is.

Who the heck do I call to find out all this? I really doubt the local PD is going to say sure no problem you can use it.

Jason

Steve House October 16th, 2006 08:32 AM

One of the factors is whether the footage is consider "news coverage" or not. Shooting the scene of an auto accident is certainly news and can be broadcast on the 6 o'clock program without worry. But using those same photos or footage later on in commercials for auto insurance or a body-shop would not be considered news coverage and probably would require formal releases. Both the intent of the exhibition and the timeliness with respect to the event portrayed enter into how a court might decide. When there's a question, the best solution is to consult a lawyer,

Ken Diewert October 19th, 2006 10:25 AM

The last industry that I would jump to defend is the music industry, but copyright works (or doesn't work) in video as well. There is no shortage of people on these boards complaining about people pirating their DVD's.

So you have to remember karma. You don't want someone saying down the road, 'yeah this Jason dude made a cool DVD, and I burned it and sold 2000 copies on ebay'.

I think you'd do well to invest $200 in consulting a copyright lawyer. It may help clear up the grey areas of copyright infringement and public domain.

Don't mean to sound harsh, but better to be safe than sued.

Good Luck.


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