Using film clips on charitable website

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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slimbob
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Thanks Andy yet again

Post by slimbob » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:04 pm

One last thing Andy then I will leave you in peace

I want to start a charity called “Magic in Action” which will donate 100% of all profits to help deaf blind children.

The venture will make money via an idea called “Magic Movie Mind” It will be website with many different short magic moments from movies linked to an idea I have had. I realise the moments from movies are owned by the movie company and copyright protected. The website will not make money directly in any way nothing for sale everything free even a free downloadable ebook I have written explaining the idea. There will be you tube videos on there like tutorials teaching the idea made by me as well.

It will make money by donation from visitors and eventually selling advertising space on the site. After costs to run the site which wont be much all profits will be donated to the charity I want to set up “Magic in Action”.

My question is I know this would be breaking copyright law even though the clips are very short. Due to the huge number of clips involved it would be very difficult near on impossible to track down all the movie companies and ask permission or worse still pay some kind of license fee which would cripple the idea.

My thinking and the point I would like you insight on with is would you think due to the nature of the idea the chance of being taken to court by a movie company would be very unlikely as no money is being made directly from their property and due to the bad press of taking a charity to court which donates 100% of all its profits to bring some magic into death blind children’s lives?

One point I have noticed a lot of websites have clips from movies like for example You Tube? This seems acceptable and no money is being made from them they are uploaded and shared free of charge. My venture would be similar (i.e.) shared free and only receiving money via donation.

Your thoughts are priceless to me Andy if you have a bit more time to answer this for me.

Please let me know about that gift!

All the best to you

Rob

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:35 pm

Hi again Rob.

First of all whether or not someone infringes copyright is not any way linked to whether or not they stand to gain financially from such an activity; the only difference would be in the amount of damages which might be awarded against an infringer. Nor do I think the major film and record companies would turn a blind eye (possibly an inappropriate phrase in the current context!) to infringement even though it did not profiit the individual, as can be seen by their pursuit of file-sharers who invariably do not have a financial motive.
And yes, I'm afraid that even posting short clips would probably upset the major movie companies. These organisations face widespread and large scale abuse of their copyright everyday, so they can be forgiven for not sorting the good guys from the bad guys. On YouTube it has been stated* that 24 hours worth of video are uploaded every minute, and you can be reasonably sure a large percentage of that will be potentially infringing someone's copyright. In order to cope with this enormous flood of material, the large corporations use computer software to search the internet for their content and send out automated notices to site hosts to take down anything they find (using the DMCA Takedown Notice procedure) on an equally large scale. One company - Viacom - on just one day sent YouTube a single takedown notice covering 100,000 alleged infringing videos.
So whilst it may seem like a mammoth task, you really would have to seek permission to use the clips. In fact you will find that it isn't quite so difficult as you think, because you can negotiate through a single licensing agency. For the UK this is the Motion Picture Licensing Company http://www.mplcuk.com/. I suggest you discuss your plans with them and find out if they have a rate for charitable projects.


* E Van Buskirk, '5-Year-Old YouTube Tops Networks' Primetime with 2 Billion Views' 17 May 2010. http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/ ... ion-views/
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

slimbob
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thanks !!!

Post by slimbob » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:52 am

extremely helpful reply Andy yet again even though I must admit it was not what I wanted to hear !

that link you gave me will be a massive help to me I will be phoning them today for help and advice .

Cannot thank you enough for all your extremely helpful advice it has made my life so much easier and so am indebted to you .

All the best to you Andy

Rob

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