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copyrights/merchandise in indi film


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#1 Robert Gardner

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 04:42 PM

Hi,
can anybody please help me with this. We're making a short film and we want to know, is it ok to put products in the film tht you do not have permission as such to show? Like 'Animal' the drummer from the Muppets. In the shot it would merely appear in the background and not featured in any way apart from its presence. Is it legal?
any help on those legal mettars would be appreciated.
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 05:48 PM

There is copyright and if it's just a toy in the background it's not really worth the hassle, unless there's a story point. Usually art directors put generic toys in. I once tried to clear a Star Wars poster and was refused permission.
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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 12:50 PM

It kinda depends on less obvious factors. Is what you're making going to ever see any kind of distribution? If it is film festival fair, few copyright holders will care if their stuff is in your flick. There are two concerns for anyone producing visual product: Will it get you sued? AND Will it keep a distributor from signing you because you didn't get clearance on the stuff that ended up in your images. Really, it depends on money. If you make money and someone can sue their mits onto it, then you might have troubles. If you don't have any or make any money off your product, then few people will go to the trouble of sticking lawyers up your a**.
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