What Things In An Average House Could I Film?

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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What Things In An Average House Could I Film?

Post by keith_12345 »

What things in an average house could I film/photograph? Could I film all objects?
Last edited by keith_12345 on Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by AndyJ »

Hi Keith

A lot depends on what your intentions are. If your aim was to just film the interior of the house, or some event taking place there like a party or gathering of relatives, then just about anything which was caught in shot might be OK even if it was something which was subject to copyright, like a modern painting, a book or magazine cover etc. This is because of the exception for incidental inclusion of copyright works. However if the intention was primarily tp show copyright works, like the aforementioned painting, then that might amount to infringement, especially as the whole of the work is likely to be reproduced. It is possible that the new exception for quotation might include a sort of 'video quotation' where the purpose was to show the copyright works in a particular context. For example if you were shooting a video a bit like the old TV programme Through the Keyhole you might wish to show the copyright works in the context of who owned them, as a way of providing an insight into the owner's tastes. You may recall that fairly recently Sir Elton John loaned a number of photographs from his collection to an exhibition at Tate Modern. As part of the publicity for the exhibition he was interviewed on TV at home in front of some of the works which were almost certainly still in copyright (and I doubt if Sir Elton owns the copyright to most of the works he has amassed). This would probably not have amounted to infringement based on this kind of justification. Book covers etc are less problematic, because although they may well be copyright works, it is unlikely that a publisher would seriously contemplate suing over their having been copied (unlike say the actual text of a book). Making a video of something being broadcast by filming the TV screen would be infringement, although taking a still photograph of a TV screen does not infringe (s 71) provided it was for private domestic purposes.

Most household objects would not be subject copyright and so unless the house contained some items of iconic furniture or sculptures which might constitute artistic works and these were shown on the video, I don't think there is much you would need to worry about. The reason why iconic furniture (as opposed to a piece from Ikea) might be an artistic work is because of a recent change in the law. Previously any copyright work which was reproduced by a industrial process, lost its full copyright status, and was instead protected for a 25 year period or by design right. The change in the law removed this anomaly, meaning that if something, typically a piece of furniture, exhibited sufficient artistic merit and craftsmanship it might qualify for copyright as a work of artistic craftsmanship.
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
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