Author Topic: copyright questions  (Read 1997 times)

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Jeremy Blackman

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copyright questions
« on: May 12, 2008, 03:39:23 PM »
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I'm thinking about making a political documentary. It would involve original material like voiceover and some original music, but I have some questions about using other material.

Note: This would not be for sale. It would be on Google Video and file sharing networks.

What copyright issues are involved when I use things like contemporary TV footage and historical news footage? So many internet-based political documentaries use this kind of thing. Do they get permission? Do they even need permission? Is it generally an accepted practice?

I know the answer is probably a resounding "no," but I'll ask it anyway. Should I risk using copyrighted music? If not, why? If yes, what can I get away with?

If I decide to sell DVDs, how would that change the answer to the video clips and music questions?
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Sleepless

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Re: copyright questions
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 06:04:57 PM »
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You would definitely need rights (to music anyway) if you were to sell DVDs. Not sure about any footage, but imagine you would. I suspect will be a lot easier to get permission that music though.

As for posting on Google or YouTube I think most people just put stuff up on there with zero permission (see all those TWBB skits) and the worst they probably get is a slap on the wrists (if even that) and just get their videos taken down. It depends what your definite intentions are, and what you want to do with this?

My advice would be to either find a way to use only original material, or to try and contact the media outlet which has the most footage you'd like to use and use that as a deciding factor in which direction you go in.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: copyright questions
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2008, 05:16:45 PM »
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Okay, new idea. I might just distribute this on the google and the youtubes, maybe filesharing networks, and hand out DVDs to people I know. Because I really want to use a crapton of copyrighted music, news footage, clips from movies, and the like. I have many ideas. Getting permission for everything (or even 10% of what I want to use) would take more time than I have and would pretty much crush my creativity.

And really, I would make original music for the thing, but I don't have a ton of free time or energy for this. Logic Express makes me want to gouge out my eyeballs if I use it too long, and I would be making an hour or more of original music. Plus there's just too much great stuff out there to resist connecting this popular culture and art with these events and concepts that can seem very dry.

Anyway, if I go ahead like that (not selling anything), what kinds of risks am I taking, really? Anything serious?

By the way, it would be a "brief history of world power" type of thing, with a focus on the contemporary, like the British empire, the Rothschilds, and how we're controlled today. Still have a ton of research to do, but I have a good grasp of the basics.
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Re: copyright questions
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 11:31:10 PM »
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JB,

If you're not making money off of this project then don't worry.  If your film received so much attention that people were pressuring/threatening you because of copyright, pat yourself on the back. 
"look hard at what pleases you and even harder at what doesn't" ~ carolyn forche

 

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