In our society, which seems to become more complicated every day, it is refreshing to learn that at least one subject has actually become less complex over the years. It may surprise you that Congress brought about this simplicity. I am referring to the Copyright law, codified in Title 17 of the United States Code.
With corporate logos displayed prominently throughout our modern landscape, it’s all but inevitable that one will eventually be caught by your camera. So, what do you need to do if and when a corporate logo appears in your footage?
Creating a documentary or other non-fiction video content often requires hours of research, painstaking attention to detail, and ultimately a desire to find and expose some truth. Sources are double-checked and wording is chosen carefully in an effort to portray the content honestly while, perhaps, delivering a pointed message.
Years ago, I was on a team of shooters on a wedding reality series produced for a regional lifestyle network. We shot mostly documentary style, unstaged actuality. But we were made very aware by the network not to include any copyrighted visuals or sounds in the show.
Readers will learn how to decide whether a sound license is required and if so, whom to contact and how. A sample license request letter is provided as a sidebar. Also covered are the differences among synchronization, master use, broadcast and Internet licenses.