A couple of question re material for a film..

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Rabhickey
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A couple of question re material for a film..

Post by Rabhickey » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:03 pm

wow what a godsend this forum seems to be..
I am making a documentary concerning a man who was shot dead in 1966 and wanted to ask a couple of question for anyone who can and is willing to offer an opinion.

firstly, am i correct that I can use newspaper clippings from the period freely?
second, i need to license some video footage from the mid sixties, some contains live music performance and some lipsynched - would either these bits of music be included in the archive license (it seems even Pathe aren't sure about this)?
thirdly, i have bought some photos which seem to have come from a press library/agency - I need to use them, can I protect myself?

many, many thanks and apologoies if any of these have been answered elsewhere - i just want to be sure...

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:59 pm

Hi Rab,
Making films/videos can involve a lot of rights clearances as you have discovered.

When you mention news clippings, do you mean you want to include shots of the clippings on screen, or do you just mean you want to use the news stories as background research. If it's the latter there are no problems associated with that. I am assuming it's the former. Generally if you don't let the camera dwell on the clippings for too long and don't make them too prominent in the shot, you should be OK. This sort of use is called 'incidental inclusion' and it was found to be OK in a case called Fraser-Woodward ltd v BBC. Briefly the facts of that case were: a production company was commissioned by the BBC to produce a film about the way in which the media treated celebrities, in this instance looking at the Beckhams. During the film there were various shots of newspaper articles about the Beckhams, several of which included photographs, the copyright of which was owned by Fraser-Woodward. The newspapers (and the photographs they contained) were mainly shown as the camera panned across them laid out on a table, in a sort of establishing shot, since newspaper articles in general were the subject of the story. In most instances this was held to be incidental inclusion and therefore not infringing, but one picture in particular was held in shot for a longer time than the others while the voice-over talked about the story that the article was about. On tha basis, the court found that including this image was deliberate and related to the main purpose of programme, so it was not incidental. In fact Fraser-Woodward ultimately lost the case for other reasons. If you have time, read the judgment to gain a better understanding of the issues, since I don't know exactly why you want to include the shots of the clippings.

Video footage. When you license the footage you wish to use, make sure that the licence covers your intended use. You should discuss this with the agency which supplies the footage. Assuming that they can assure you that they are entitled to license the material you will be a strong position if problems arise later, to show that you took all the necessary steps to obtain permission, and that the liability for any infringeemnt lies with the agency. The inclusion of music in the footage does make the situation much more complicated, because different rules apply to sound recordings (ie something made in recording studio as would be the case with a track to which the artist lip-synced) and live performances. If the agency/library can't help, the best way to ensure that the music / performances included in the footage are covered by licence is to contact the copyright collecting society PPL. It is most likely you can obtain a blanket licence to cover all the types of music/performance you wish to include. PPL will be able to advise you on whether you also need a licence from PRS (who deal with composer's and song writer's royalties)
Photographs. Ideally you need to try and track down the agency these came from and obtain the necessary licence to use them. If there is a copyright owner's name on the back (probably the photographer) then you could also try contacting him through the Design and Artists Copyright Society, who may be able to issue a licence, as they represent some photographers.
Just a final note, although the era you are talking about is the mid sixties, just about everything you want to use will still be in copyright, so you are correct in looking for licences. If you haven't already seen it, the BBC have a useful webpage which deals with rights clearances for film makers, here
Last edited by AndyJ on Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

Rabhickey
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Post by Rabhickey » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:04 pm

wow thanks Andy - really useful.

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