FILM & VIDEO
Using TV footage - how many seconds is allowed without having to get permission? Any?
There is no set time limit or percentage of a piece. Make sure the footage is used towards commentary, critique, or parody/satire and that its utilization is not simply used as a substitute to shooting something yourself ( ie. personal interviews, etc.)
Images from crowds - when do you get releases?
Not when filmed in a public place where there is no assumption of privacy. If an individual is singled out, then you would need a signed release for permission.
Release for recording someone voice - do you need a release?
Yes! - this does not have to do with copyright, but with privacy laws.
Parent signatures for kid interviews - do you need this for ALL interviews?
Yes! Suggestions for where to get copyright free music (see more in the curated list below):
When DON'T I need to get releases/permission?
Buildings filmed from public places; federal government works - including words, footage, etc. hold no copyrights; objects in public domain, when you have access to a reproduction yourself; public domain is generally 70 years after the death of the author, or, if by a company: 95 years since publication or 120 years from creation - (almost) anything published before 1923.
Can I use images from the internet?
As long as for non-commercial use, follow the guidelines above. Follow the same guidelines as for video - make sure the copyrighted image is necessary to support your claim, part of a critique or parody, or fair use or just use copyright free images! But you must always cite the source of your images.
How do you cite images from the internet?
In a slide show: include a list of references in and end slide, just as you would write a bibliography for a paper, such as: Author. Title. [Online] Available http://address/filename, Date.
Standards for citing on multimedia?
Either cite along with clip/quote/etc or in credits; standards for citing from books and from the internet, especially on a print project. There are a variety of standards - MLA, APA, and Chicago are the most frequently used for citing in print projects. Info you must include: author, where obtained (book title, website, etc), date published.
Is a model release needed for photography?
Yes, except when photographed in a public place where there is no assumption of privacy.
Am I allowed to show brands?
The truth is, you should try to avoid this. In general, no, you are not legally allowed to show brands. However, in documentary film, since going out of your way to avoid these would in effect be altering the reality you are documenting, it is generally agreed that you are allowed to show brands. Make sure that content is attributed when needed and it is not the prime focus of the scene unless needed. Be sure that the brand was not purposely put in the shot if not needed to critique.
How would I make a piece about consumerism without showing brands?
If you are creating a documentary that is critiquing these brands, you are allowed to use them in context. That means use just enough to make or illustrate your point, no more.
How can I avoid copyright or release hassles?
- Try your best to keep identifiable copyrighted images - such as commercial logos - out of your project.
- Do not use clips from other films, videos, or TV programs.
- Use all original music, audio, images or ones that are in the public domain.
- Find music and other material that the creators have agreed to make available for sharing. Creative Commons, for example, runs a great web site that enables people to share their creative work with the public in a legal way. http://search.creativecommons.org
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are producing a film that will be viewed only in your school classes, or by friends, teachers, family, etc., it is probably safe to assume that any legal copyright action against you would be unlikely. However, if your film is a hit at school and with friends and family, you might want to enter it in film festivals and contests that would require adherence to copyright laws. It may be difficult to go back and get the necessary releases and permissions after your film has been made.
What should I do if I need to comply with copyright and release laws?
Get release forms signed by anyone who appears in your film.
Get release forms for any recognizable private locations (e.g. stores, private homes) and for any public locations.
Get written permission for any music, images or text created by someone other than yourself that you use in your film.
Always refer to your educator/mentor if you are ever unsure about the borrowed material in your project.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS FOR COPYRIGHT
- Asking permission and getting denied does not end your rights to Fair Use - sometimes it can even help your case.
- Make sure it all material is needed to make your commentary/critique -instead of a shortcut from making your own material.
- Make sure you use no more than is necessary to make your point.
- Use a variety of sources - do not focus entire piece on one quote, clip, or brand.
- Identify and credit owner of material.
- Be prepared to argue why material is either (a) extremely necessary or (b) very unavoidable without altering the "reality" you are capturing.
- Fair Use does not help you get access to material - you may still have to deal with piracy laws if ripping a DVD, or off YouTube, or taping off the television, etc.
- Fair Use as we know it is unique to America. Other countries may allow for it, but each has its own individual laws.
- GET ALL RIGHTS WHEN POSSIBLE.