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fair use/public domain question


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#1 Ruby Gold

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 12:27 AM

Does anyone know if you're shooting stills on the street for use in a production, and there is a store ad (like a giant GAP photograph of a model in the store window) in your image, are you violating copyright to use the image without permission?

Thanks-
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#2 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:17 AM

Does anyone know if you're shooting stills on the street for use in a production, and there is a store ad (like a giant GAP photograph of a model in the store window) in your image, are you violating copyright to use the image without permission?

Thanks-


Do you really want to give them the free publicity? ;)

Best to avoid well known brands unless you have approval.
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#3 Arni Heimir

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 05:35 AM

Do you really want to give them the free publicity? ;)

Best to avoid well known brands unless you have approval.


Well, if you are shooting in a street. Then everything is fair game. But if you are doctoring their brand and deliberately shedding bad light on it (excuse the pun), then they might have a legitimate quarrel with you.
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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 11:25 AM

Does anyone know if you're shooting stills on the street for use in a production, and there is a store ad (like a giant GAP photograph of a model in the store window) in your image, are you violating copyright to use the image without permission?

Thanks-


Duke University Law School has published an excellent "comic book" that talks about "fair use":

http://www.law.duke....cs/digital.html

Posted Image

http://www.softskull...n=1-933368-37-3
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#5 Dan Goulder

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 01:04 PM

If footage was shot "guerilla style" (without permission) on corporate-owned industrial property either BEFORE or DURING the time that property went into foreclosure, does one need permission from the new owners of the property for those scenes to be used in a theatrical release? (The original corporation that owned the property at the time the footage was shot has been dissolved. In fact, it's had two different owners since the foreclosure. So, this footage would have been shot two owners ago. No signs with corporate logos are seen in any shots.) Thanks.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 01:40 PM

Sometimes the issue is based on the prominance of the licenced names, logos, etc. If you shoot in a convenience store, you're surrounded by product names but as long as they are in soft-focus or in wide shots where it is hard to read them, then generally you're OK. But if you're doing a close-up on a TV set and the SONY label is big in frame, you have to get permission (or "greek" it out on the set of fuzz-out or erase it in post.) Ever notice how many logos on T-shirts get fuzzed-out on reality shows?
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 02:09 PM

If you are doing a news story, you pretty much can shoot anything except for people's faces.

Sadly, if you are doing a low budget movie, it becomes nearly impossible to point your camera anywhere in the city without at least a small risk of being sued later. What I haven't figured out is why stock footage shots for the most part seem to have more lax rules, unless you are shooting a helium balloon parade and haven't gotten releases from the balloonists who consider their birds to be artistic expressions and subject to a fee for use.
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#8 Tom Bays

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 02:27 PM

If it isn't a wide wide shot you can go into the store or business and ask if you can shoot in there...If they are willing ask if they would sign an indemnity form. This won't work for big companies, but sometimes smaller places are cool about it.

Edited by Tom Bays, 09 August 2006 - 02:28 PM.

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#9 Mark Allen

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:21 PM

Note that in practice you end up having more trouble with corporate owned distributors who don't want a very very long list of competitors to any of any of the corporations products to appear int he movie than you will with any legality of showing things which happen to appear in your movie.

Except Audio. Even interface sounds - be careful with those and do some research.

I'm not a lawyer and don't play one on TV.
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#10 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 05:30 PM

We deal with such issues all the time in Television. The short answer is that we have lawyers and clearance people who deal with music, logos, product placement etc. they always tell us the same thing. Pay for it or Don't use it.

It also depends on where the material will be seen, broadcast being the most conservative realm, the internet being the least. Its amazing the amount of ripping off, copying, etc that goes on, on the net.
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#11 Arni Heimir

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 06:13 PM

Unless you are shooting hard core porn, I doubt anyone would bother you in the future. I notice that if a production is shooting with permision in a public place. They place a large sign saying that they are shooting a movie here and by walking past the sign they are agreeing to be seen in the film. Again, I doubt any one would make a big deal about it. And companies are paying good money for their brand to be seen in films.

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#12 Dan Goulder

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 07:24 PM

How about using the exterior of a factory as an establishing shot of where the actor "works", minus any signage or corporate logos? What if the footage was shot during prior (now defunct) ownership of the property? Must the corporation that currently owns the business give written clearance? Does it make a difference if the camera was physically located off the property, vs. on the property? Forgive me for rehashing these questions, but it's a complicated issue, and I'm trying to provide as much detail as possible. Thank you.
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#13 Ruby Gold

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 07:40 PM

Thanks to all for your input!

I'm actually creating a DVD (so, not broadcast and not Internet) that will be used in various programs to help ex-offenders about to be released from county jail in dealing with finding housing, dealing with their own recovery from drugs/alcohol, and dealing with money and finances so they can make it on the outside.

Part of the script in the "dealing with money" section has VO talking about money and how hard it is to make it, deal with it, etc etc and the plan was to use imagery related to money (e.g. check cashing places, ATMs, etc), along with images of consumerism to run over the VO. Hence the images from store windows.

Most of the stills I shot DON'T have the company's logo in it, however I'm aware that these ads are somebody's pictures and I don't want to be a jerk and use without permission OR get sued. I'm talking a total of maybe 30 to 60 seconds in the entire production, so it's a long shot that anyone would sue me, but... the project is being financed by a government entity so I figure I should be somewhat careful and see what info I can dig up. I know that any people on the street are fair game, but just assume that these pictures are owned by either the photographer who took them or the store who paid for them, so I don't know what could come of it.

Any more thoughts?
thanks-
Ruby
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#14 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 08:00 PM

Well, if you are shooting in a street. Then everything is fair game. But if you are doctoring their brand and deliberately shedding bad light on it (excuse the pun), then they might have a legitimate quarrel with you.


No one can stop you from shooting anything in the street..(short of with a court order :) )
However that does not translate into the freedom to use any of it for commercial / profit making use. You still need their permission to try & make money off it.

...they always tell us the same thing. Pay for it or Don't use it.


Safest bet.

Part of the script in the "dealing with money" section has VO talking about money and how hard it is to make it, deal with it, etc etc and the plan was to use imagery related to money (e.g. check cashing places, ATMs, etc), along with images of consumerism to run over the VO. Hence the images from store windows.


Sounds like a good project and I don't think anyone would really mind. However it is still probably a good idea to play it safe.
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