Privacy laws vary from country to country, but in most developed countries you need to gain permission from a person to use their image in a media project of any kind if they are identifiable in the piece. If the person is considered to be a minor (usually those under 18 years of age) in the jurisdiction where youre shooting, you will normally need to have a parent or legal guardian sign consent on their behalf instead.
Legitimate news gathering organizations often have special exemptions from these rules as they are generally considered to be operating "in the public interest," but filmmakers (including documentary-makers) do not enjoy this exemption and must therefore get everyone who is recognizable in the film to sign a release form. Without the release, anyone who appears in your film may be able to sue you for using their image without permission, may prevent you from distributing your film, or may even demand a cut of the profits.
If you are shooting with actors or in a controlled environment, make sure you get releases signed at the outset. Leaving it until later on or after your shoot is a very bad idea - what if you lose contact with the actor or have a falling out? It's better to have the...
Unless you know for sure that the clip showing on the TV is in the public domain, you should get copyright clearance to use it. Otherwise you may find that the shot has to be removed from your final film before it can be shown publicly, or worst, you get a letter from the copyright owner demanding a license fee plus damages for the unauthorized use of the their material.
In some cases, particularly with documentary films, it may be possible to argue that the clip on a television constitutes "fair use" (as defined in copyright law). However, to be successful in this defense the clip needs to be incidental to the shot. You still may end up in court having to defend your assertion of fair use, but if the clip isn't featured or favored in your shot, you'll at least have a chance of convincing the judge that fair use applies.
But the upshot is, if you have any control over the scene whatsoever, turn off the television or replace the content with something, which either a) you have the rights to, or b) is in the public domain. If that's not possible, you should seek to clear the clip, or don't use the shot.
Copyright law is designed to protect intellectual property in expressions of creative works including books, music, drama, art, sound recordings, films and videos, and broadcasts. It cannot be used to protect ideas, rather it protects the way the idea is expressed in a piece of work. For example, you cannot copyright the rules for a game of chess, however you can copyright a book you have written outlining the rules of chess, since the book is the "expression" of the idea.
In terms of company names, these do not fall within the scope of copyright law at all, so you can't "copyright" them. If you are asking this question, what you are really asking is, "how do I stop other people from using my company name?" Unfortunately there is no one simple answer to this question because it involves several areas, and the higher the degree of protection you want, the more money you will need to shell out. See, our fees here. Consider the following areas as a starting point:
The short answer to this issue is, yes, you must obtain permission before using an actors image in film or marketing material. You must get each person who is identifiable in your film to sign a release allowing you to use their image in the film and associated activities (such as marketing materials for the film). This applies equally to narrative films and documentaries. Regardless of how you are planning to use the film or whether you intend to charge people to see it or not, you must be able to prove that you hold all of the underlying rights, including script, music, and the right to use your actors' images.
If you've gone ahead a shot your film without getting your actors to sign releases, you should try and get them signed retrospectively as soon as possible. This is probably not going to be a problem if the actors are your friends, but if your relationship with them deteriorated on set you might find it harder to secure agreement after the event (hence the reason why it's essential to get them signed ahead of time). It's certainly far to risky to use an actor's image without their consent, particularly if you film ends up earning any money.
The upshot is, always always always get your releases signed in advance!
If you are planning on shooting on location, you should always check to see if you need permission before you show up. This is particularly important if you have a crew of more than 2-3 people or you are shooting drama. Generally locations fall into two categories: private and public.
Private locations - in almost all cases you will need permission to shoot on a private location. It is important that you get the location owner (or an authorized representative) to sign a release form giving you permission to use the location. You should also make sure you have the necessary insurance to cover your cast and crew, and you will generally have to indemnify the owner against any claims arising from your use of the location. Using private locations may or may not involve a fee, this really depends on the circumstances and your persuasiveness.
Public locations - in most cases, you can shoot freely in public locations, however you should always check first with your local authority. If you are planning on shooting in a busy area or with a reasonably large crew, you will often need to obtain Police co-operation for things such as crowd and traffic control. Again, depending on the individual situation, you may be able to obtain this at no...
So I am asked this question, often, can I use a song or other copyrighted work in my film if I change ... percent of it?
For a long time a copyright myth has circulated that there is a magic percentage of a copyright work, that if the original work is changed by that amount, it becomes ok to use without permission.
This is completely and utterly false.
There is no rule of thumb or magic number, which separates non-infringing use from infringing use. This interpretation is entirely up the courts, and will depend largely on the nature of the copyright work and how it is used.
In nearly all cases, if you are planning to use copyrighted material in your film, you will either need to get permission from the copyright holder, or substantially change it to the point where it is not recognizable from the original source (which kind of defeats the purpose of using it anyway).
International copyright law does allow for a concept of "fair use", which allows copyrighted material to be used for certain purposes without permission of the copyright-holder. Fair use is a qualitative measure so it again comes down the to the way in which the material is used, how much is used, and what the nature of the copyright material itself is. Generally, fair...
Generally speaking, if you use a product positively in a film for the purpose it was intended (i.e. your character drinks a can of Coke or eats a packet of chips) there should be no problems; you don't have to use generic labeled products. And obviously products, which aren't featured in your film, (e.g. a packet of Kellogg's cornflakes sitting on a shelf in the background) should also not be an issue.
Problems can arise in two main areas. First, if you show a product in a bad light (i.e. your character drinks a can of Coke then says, "Wow. Coke sucks!"), the company that produces it may not be too happy with you. This may constitute what is called âtrade defamation,â similar to a famous 1997-98 case involving comments made by Ophra Winfrey on her show about the US beef industry.
The second area is a little more difficult, and is the best reason why you should involve a trademark attorney in the final decision of using specific products in your film. Although you may not see any specific problems with using a specific product in your film, a manufacturer or trademark owner could, amongst other things, decide that they don't want their product associated with all or part of your film. This could be for a variety of reasons, but...
What's this a silent film a contender for an Academy Award? No Michael Bay-plosions? No CG? No FX? But, rather well written characters and acting that engages the audience so that they care for the characters. What a revolutionary concept.Critics are forecasting Oscar glory for the French silent movie "The Artist," which landed distribution with The Weinstein Company (handlers of last year's Best Pic, "The King's Speech") after faring surprisingly well at Cannes this year. The homage to silent-era Hollywood is directed by Michel Hazanivicius, known in France for his "spy spoof movies," and stars Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin, who won Best Actor at Cannes for the role. There's also a few familiar faces: good ol' John Goodman turns up, as does character actor James Cromwell (the farmer from "Babe").While it would be incredible to see a throwback movie, silent, black and white, and starring two unknown leads, take the most mainstream award there is, it's worth noting The Weinstein Company also bought rights to the ugly stepchild at this year's Venice fest, Madonna's "W.E." That said, the combo of art house plus heartwarming could be just strange enough to win over film geeks and grandmas, and maybe the Academy.
European based film group Studiocanal has made a â150 million Euro ($202.5 million) three-year slate financing deal with London based film financing fund Anton Capital Entertainment (âACEâ).
ACE will take a 30% stake in the English-language movies and films with international potential theatrically released by Studiocanal over the next three years. The deal will allow the European studio a three-year movie financing capacity for English-language and international movies, on Studiocanal productions, co-financed pictures and movies acquired for distribution, of at least â500 million Euros ($675 million) through 2014.
Studiocanal will invest in about 100 films through 2014, spread between international independent movies, family fare and animation, elevated genre and local event pictures. The ACE deal has already kicked in and includes Studiocanal-financed hit "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," staring Gary Oldman and Colin Firth.
It also takes in the Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis," set in the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene, and Michel Gondry's French-language "The Foam of the Days," an adaptation of Boris Vian's novel.
Studiocanal will continue to invest in local movies made out of France, U.K. and Germany, where it runs...
Science fiction legend and 77 year old author, Harlan Ellison is attempting to kill a high-profile movie that is scheduled for release next month. The Hugo award-winning writer has filed a lawsuit against New Regency and director Andrew Niccol over the 20th Century Fox-distributed film, In Time, starring Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy. He is demanding an injunction to prevent the film's October 28 release and the disposal of all copies of the film.
Ellison filed his lawsuit last Wednesday in California federal court with allegations of copyright infringement on the part of the producers of In Time, including Niccol, who is renowned for his sci-fi films including The Truman Show, Gattaca, and S1mOne.
Copyright lawsuits in Hollywood are certainly plentiful, but rarely successful because plaintiffs typically struggle to meet the high burden of showing substantial similarity. Will Ellison's case be any different?
Ellison says the new film is based on his multiple prize-winning 1965 work, "Repent, Harlequin! Said The Ticktockman" which the complaint calls one of the most famous and widely published science fiction short stories of all time and that the film "copies key plot elements, themes, characters,...