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I have shot “live” coverage and edited a “canned” version of the Seal Beach, California, holiday parades, complete with Santa, and area businesses and youth club floats, bands, etc. In that particular situation, working either under the auspices of the SBTV-3 cable channel, and as an independent, even dubbing selling copies on demand, I’ve not run up against any legal challenges. I’ve obtained no releases other than verbal authorization by the city council to do so – both ways, for community cable and as a privately produced program.
I have unofficially and without clearance, videotaped, edited, submitted to cable television and sold copies of the Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco.
And, I have unofficialy and without clearance or authorization, shot not only July 4th and related parades in Huntington Beach, both ways, as well as the local Iron Man competition, local/area marathons and 10k, etc. runs, Easter parades, as well as major events at area cemetery/mortuary establishments (these with the blessing of the establishment for event coverage, selling copies of the event as well as being paid by the establishment to shoot, edit & deliver what might be being held on private commercial property but is none-the-less a public event).
Last, but not least, usually only with the verbal approval of the planning organization I have produced video of car shows, powwows, renaissance events, etc. with NO legal problems/requirements thus far. That is not to say I haven’t simply just been lucky (I often will do things guerrilla style using the “eat” cookies from the jar before asking approach) but thus far over a period of many years these type events have been produced, shown on cable on area public access channels and sold privately to inquiring parties without legal ramifications.
Is/was all this “legal” in the letter of the law(s)? Probably not, but…
Not intended, of course, as legal advice. Not responsible for any actions taken or liability incurred by persons using this information. I do not claim to have legal license or knowledge of the many potential laws that might govern videotaping and production or the public showing paid or private of such events by any given state or other governing entity. Necessary disclaimer.