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Old December 27th, 2006, 06:03 PM   #1
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Legal questions Re: Selling DVD video for charity

I'm presently working on a 30 minute video for an annual halloween attraction. The annual attraction accepts donations from patrons. One half of the donations are given to a local animal shelter. The other half is used to fund the attraction for the following year.

The video is a behind the scenes type, with some of the attraction video and photos mixed in. There are interviews with people waiting in line as well as video of some actors (young kids, high school students, and adults) inside the attraction.

We are considering selling the 30 Minute DVD to raise money for the animal shelter + for additional funds for next years attraction. We have purchased the music that we will need from SmartSounds. Most all the the photos + a short segment of video was provided to us by permisson. I shot the majority of the video myself.

There is a sign posted at the event that says "By entering this attraction you agree to obey the rules and agree to be video taped and or photographed".

Keep in mind... this event is for charity.


1) Can we sell the video witout the consent of the people that were video taped or photographed? Some of these people were in line and shot before seeing the sign at the entrance. They did agree to be interviewed and were told that the interview was for the attraction's web site - not a DVD.

2) There is one person in the video that is wearing a shirt with an NFL team logo on it. Will this be a problem?

3) Should we have written agreements from the people that donated the photos and video?

4) Am I missing anything?

Again, there is no profit being made.

Thank you!
Tim Bickford

Last edited by Tim Bickford; December 28th, 2006 at 12:56 AM.
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Old December 27th, 2006, 06:52 PM   #2
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Location: San Mateo, CA
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Written agreements and consent forms are best. Recorded consent is also good, just not as 'handy'.

I'd blur out the logo on the t-shirt to be on the safe side.

As you are well aware, the footage you shot before the people were able to give informed consent, (after they saw the sign) is not 'cleared' unless they give you permission after the fact. That's why you're asking about it isn't it?

There is no 'guarantee' at any time, ever, that you will NOT be sued by somebody. All you can deal with it the likelyhood of liablility. The answer and attorney will give you will be about what your level of exposure is. IF you have consent from everyone who appears, and blur out the NFL logo, I'd say your level of exposure is pretty low.

But I'm not a lawyer and I'm not giving you legal advice. For peace of mind, go talk to one.
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Old December 27th, 2006, 07:21 PM   #3
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Location: New Hampshire
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Thank you!

When I interviewed people I asked them if I could ask them a few questions on camera. Some asked what it was for. I told (the ones that asked) that it was for the attractions web site. Some of the interviews were conducted with peope before they entered and some after they exited.

It will be nearly impossible to get permission from people who were interviewed. I suppose next time I should get their names etc. This was my first time... I was rolling with it.

I did not film anyone against their free will. Perhaps next time I will ask them on camera. "Do you agree to be filmed for this purpose + what is your name?" Not sure if that's the best way or not?

It sounds like the logo is the least of our problems.

We do not want to get into legal diputes with anyone. We are just trying to raise money for a good cause.

Thanks for the advice!
Tim Bickford
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Old December 31st, 2006, 03:02 PM   #4
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I don't think you need to worry about the NFL team logo. It's a trademark and as long as the object it appears on is used in a normal way as intended you can include it. There would be an issue if the mark was used in the film in a way that slandered it and/or the team.

If the event was free and open to the public even if they did not provide a donation you may not have much of an issue with people in the background. You do need permisson from anyone you interviewed.
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