Legal Question – can you help?

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    • #42825
      AvatarAspyrider
      Participant

      I am producing a documentary to sell on DVd about a UFO event that took place back in the 1970’s. This was national news. My question is, do I need permission from those people involved in the event to tell the story? This is not a copyright question, all footage will be mine or will be recreations. I’m just wondering if I need to try to find the people who saw the ufo and get permission to tell their story?

      Since this was news and is a historical event, I’m thinking I do not need to. But I just want to make sure before I proceed.

      Thank you!

      J.

    • #179365
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      You will need to get a talent release form from anyone you interview. The form indicates that they relinquish any rights to your video.

      Although this is a news event, unless you are clearly a journalist, you’re probably are not protected under those provisions in the copyright laws that exempt news services.

      If you take video shots of the sky and of the landscape from a public location, you own the copyrights to the shots. If you use shots from other sources, you’ll need the originator’s permission.

    • #179366
      AvatarAspyrider
      Participant

      Let me clarify this. I understand the copyright issues of anyone I shoot. My question deals with permission to tell the story itself. Since I will be mentioning names and locations. Do I need permission to tell their story, or since it’s a historical event, then anyone can tell the story?

      The second question, If I buy video from a TV station of an interview they shot, and they give me permission to use the video, do I also need permission from the subject they interviewed?

      J.

    • #179367
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      #1 – I’m sure you’ve heard of unauthorized biographys where someone writes about a person and their life without permission of the subjects. It comes down to where your sources of information comes from.

      #2 – If the TV station gives you broadcast rights, I think you’re OK.

    • #179368
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      …Although this is a news event, unless you are clearly a journalist, you’re probably are not protected under those provisions in the copyright laws that exempt news services….

      ??Why would you say it hasanything to do with him being “clearly a journalist”?

      Being a journalist or has very little do with it. Check out the links below, especially the last one which will probably directly answer your questions. Page 7, under “Some Common Misunderstandings about Fair Use.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

      http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/files/pdf/fair_use_final.pdf

    • #179369
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      The references provided from the above post are very informative. The Center for Social Media certainly would like film makers to have a broader “fair use” of copyrighted material. From what I gather from the pamphlet, it contains their opinions. The wikipedia document discusses the “fair use” issue with all its complicated and at times blurred legal opinions with no clear borders.

      What I meant by “journalist” is if this event occurred yestrerday, an NBC reporter would interview people without having to ask for a “talent release form” particularly when an event appears to be news worthy. A documentary is not necessarily newsworthy, unless for example, you’re Frontline, which is clearly a journalistic entity.

      Nothing would make me happier than to be able to go out and film whatever I want without needing to worry about copyright and fair use issues. But the interpretation of “fair use” by the courts is too vague. I would suggest that Aspyrider do extensive research on the internet on this issue. There will be no clear answers but with enough information, he can decide what actions he can reasonably take to make his documentary.

    • #179370
      AvatarAspyrider
      Participant

      From what I’ve been able to tell there are no clear answers on this. I welcome anyones reply that may can clarify this more. In the meantime, I keep looking.

    • #179371
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      You might want to consider creating a limited liability company aka LLC. It usually costs around $100 to file. It limits your liability to just your company assets – making you a very small target for law suits.

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