19 Replies Latest reply on Jan 1, 2009 9:27 AM by Jim_Simon

    copyright question

    dericktrotter Level 1
      Not to sure if I am allowed to ask a copyright question on this forum but
      I'm sure one of you guys will know.
      I have shot alot of footage of a show over the past 8 years.... with the
      owners permission as he used some for promos...
      One of the acts in the show has got me to make a DVD of him in the show
      doing his act and clips of the show....he is selling the DVDs .
      The owner of the show is saying that the footage is his copyright.....i'm
      saying its mine as he gave me permission to shoot.

      Where do I stand

      Any advice would be helpfull or point me in the right direction.

      Thanks

      Mike
        • 1. Re: copyright question
          Eddie Lotter Level 4

          To be honest, it would be silly to take advice from anyone but a copyright lawyer/legal advisor.


          Cheers
          Eddie

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          • 2. Re: copyright question
            rockyweih Level 1
            Eddie is right, you will need a lawyer for the real answer. I did run into a case last year kind of like that. I shot a musical (Beauty and the Beast) I was paid to shoot it and supply 50 DVDs for the students in the show. I was not allowed to sell any extra DVDs to anyone because of a copyright agreement the school had with Walt Disney. I was asked not to use it for advertisement or any other purpose. Things like that need to be understood in the beginning and put in a contract. Good Luck
            • 3. Re: copyright question
              Jim_Simon Level 8
              The two general rules in the U.S. are;

              1) The creator of a work owns the copyright; except when

              2) The individual/company who hired the creator to create the work (work-for-hire) owns the copyright.

              So if I go out and shoot my own footage, I own the copyright. If I'm hired to shoot a couple's wedding, technnically they own the copyright.

              It can get a lot more complicated, but that's a basic summary to start with.
              • 4. Re: copyright question
                dericktrotter Level 1
                Thing is I never had any money from him .he said I could shoot what I wanted
                as two of my daughters are in the show..... so no agreement was ever
                reached.
                I'm thinking its my copyright not his.....He gave me permission to film .

                Mike
                • 5. Re: copyright question
                  Level 1
                  That clarify's it. HE owns the copyright. It is his original creative material and he automatically owns the copyright to it just as this email is copyrighted to me. Even if he did not go through the process of officially copyrighting it, it is his. This is especially true if the third person plans to SELL it. You would not have a leg to stand on in court if he decided to pursue it. Your only chance is the get the originators written permission. Otherwise, I would walk away.
                  • 6. Re: copyright question
                    dericktrotter Level 1
                    Thanks Robert .....Guess I will walk away and let them sort it .I only shot
                    and did the edit ....not produced it for DVD.......thing is the Act who is
                    selling the DVD is mainly the only one on there .....and its his own act
                    .....anyway thanks for the info as now I'm sure its not as clean cut as I
                    first thought ......
                    Gona keep my head down ....

                    Mike
                    • 7. Re: copyright question
                      Level 1
                      mikerawlinson@adobeforums.com wrote:
                      > Not to sure if I am allowed to ask a copyright question on this forum but
                      > I'm sure one of you guys will know.
                      > I have shot alot of footage of a show over the past 8 years.... with the
                      > owners permission as he used some for promos...
                      > One of the acts in the show has got me to make a DVD of him in the show
                      > doing his act and clips of the show....he is selling the DVDs .
                      > The owner of the show is saying that the footage is his copyright.....i'm
                      > saying its mine as he gave me permission to shoot.
                      >
                      > Where do I stand
                      >
                      > Any advice would be helpfull or point me in the right direction.
                      >
                      > Thanks
                      >
                      > Mike
                      >
                      >

                      Sounds like this show owner is being a bit of a jerk really. He's happy
                      to have you work for free and at the same time claim ownership of the
                      footage you shot. He all happy to have the promotion, again, at no cost
                      to him, but when someone else who was in the show, doing their own act,
                      would like to get a taste of that promotion, the owner gets all pissy
                      about it.

                      Technicalities of copyright aside, its pretty much not a fight you want
                      to get in the middle of. I would send the owner a bill however.....:)
                      • 8. Re: copyright question
                        Phil Griffith Level 2
                        all of that is really besides the point, isn't it? Whether you think he's a jerk or not doesn't matter. agreements were made up front.
                        • 9. Re: copyright question
                          dericktrotter Level 1
                          You hit the nail on the head Raymond.....he is a jerk....... Just really
                          awkward as my two girls are dancers and syncro swimmers in the show.

                          Mike
                          • 10. Re: copyright question
                            Harm Millaard Level 7
                            It may not be liked by your daughters, but what if you deliberately unsync your syncro swimmers? That may teach the jerk.
                            • 11. Re: copyright question
                              Dag Norum Level 2
                              I would guess this is not a copyright issue.

                              The person behind the camera has the copyright, meaning that whatever copy is made basically have to be done by the person behind the camera (unless agreed upon something else).

                              On the other hand it's the "right to use", and then things like "creator of the show", "producer of a product", "a person in a picture taken in a not-public-place" and so on will in most cases not mean the same as copyright, but that the copyright holder (the person behind the camera) can not use the picture/footage for anything except for what the holder of the "right to use" has agreed to.

                              To copy and to use are two very different things!

                              Mike,
                              I do feel for you though. Just do as Harm suggested.

                              Dag
                              • 12. Re: copyright question
                                Level 1
                                Phil_Griffith@adobeforums.com wrote:
                                > all of that is really besides the point, isn't it? Whether you think he's a jerk or not doesn't matter. agreements were made up front.

                                From the original post, it does not sound as if any agreement was much
                                more than asking to video a show and the owner getting some free promos.
                                So really, what kind of agreement was made here if any that would
                                specifically address ownership.

                                And even all that would seem to take a back seat to considering whether
                                one would want to touch the issue with a ten foot pole. There was no
                                mention of money involved so it could end up being a case of no good
                                deed going unpunished.

                                This is really kind of a fun question really. Lots of interesting
                                questions like. Can an individual act inside of a larger show hold a
                                copyright that supersedes that of the original content creator? Can a
                                show creator exercise copyright over video footage they freely allowed
                                someone else to create without any consideration provided for their
                                services?

                                I was only partly joking when I said - Send him a bill. If the guy
                                thinks he owns the footage, he should certainly be expected to pay for it.
                                • 13. Re: copyright question
                                  Level 1
                                  Dag_Norum@adobeforums.com wrote:
                                  > I would guess this is not a copyright issue.
                                  >
                                  > The person behind the camera has the copyright, meaning that whatever copy is made basically have to be done by the person behind the camera (unless agreed upon something else).
                                  >
                                  > On the other hand it's the "right to use", and then things like "creator of the show", "producer of a product", "a person in a picture taken in a not-public-place" and so on will in most cases not mean the same as copyright, but that the copyright holder (the person behind the camera) can not use the picture/footage for anything except for what the holder of the "right to use" has agreed to.
                                  >
                                  > To copy and to use are two very different things!

                                  Thats a good point. And this is the reason for those ever present Model
                                  Release forms.

                                  I'm also thinking that the mentioned 'promo' material would be owned by
                                  the guy behind the camera. On the other hand, previously allowing of its
                                  use may be construed as permission.

                                  Quite likely neither of the parties are on totally solid ground. Mike
                                  may not have a clear right to redistribute, and the owner probably also
                                  has no real right to use the video footage without creator permission
                                  AND permission from those appearing.



                                  >
                                  > Mike,
                                  > I do feel for you though. Just do as Harm suggested.
                                  >
                                  > Dag
                                  • 14. Re: copyright question
                                    Level 1
                                    mikerawlinson@adobeforums.com wrote:
                                    > Not to sure if I am allowed to ask a copyright question on this forum but
                                    > I'm sure one of you guys will know.
                                    > I have shot alot of footage of a show over the past 8 years.... with the
                                    > owners permission as he used some for promos...
                                    > One of the acts in the show has got me to make a DVD of him in the show
                                    > doing his act and clips of the show....he is selling the DVDs .
                                    > The owner of the show is saying that the footage is his copyright.....i'm
                                    > saying its mine as he gave me permission to shoot.
                                    >
                                    > Where do I stand
                                    >
                                    > Any advice would be helpfull or point me in the right direction.
                                    >
                                    > Thanks
                                    >
                                    > Mike
                                    >
                                    >

                                    Just as a side question. Is there any way that the 'Act' in question can
                                    be identified as being part of some larger production?
                                    • 15. Re: copyright question
                                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                                      >so no agreement was ever reached.

                                      There's your problem. My agreement specifically states that my company owns the recordings and can do with them whatever I please.
                                      • 16. Re: copyright question
                                        Level 1
                                        Eddie Lotter in this first post said,

                                        "To be honest, it would be silly to take advice from anyone but a copyright lawyer/legal advisor."

                                        I do not believe as Dag said that "the person behind the camera has the copyright". The originator of the original creative material holds the copyright unless another agreement was made. If that persons logo and theme music and set, etc. appear in the second persons promo video than the original creator owns all of that. I think we have already decided to stay awat from this.

                                        Jim Simon, what kind of clients do you have that allow you to do "whatever I please" with their footage. Dumb ones me thinks.
                                        • 17. Re: copyright question
                                          Dag Norum Level 2
                                          >I do not believe as Dag said that "the person behind the camera has the copyright".

                                          Oh yes, he/she does, but to clarify, the person behind the camera has the copyright of the taken footage. Meaning, if I took a picture of something, nobody else but me can make a copy of that picture (unless otherwise agreed).

                                          But, I can not even display that picture to anyone if it contains others copyrighted material, like logos etc.

                                          Example: If somebody came here to have their product photographed, they would have to buy all copies of the pictures from me. They can NOT buy one copy only, and go to a cheap photo-store and have it copied there. On the other hand, I can not put the picture of that product on my web-site or use it any other way without permission.

                                          Dag
                                          • 18. Re: copyright question
                                            Eddie Lotter Level 4

                                            It's also worth noting that copyright laws differ significantly in different countries.


                                            Cheers
                                            Eddie

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                                            • 19. Re: copyright question
                                              Jim_Simon Level 8
                                              >what kind of clients do you have that allow you to do "whatever I please" with their footage.

                                              With the agreement in question, mostly events, really. Weddings, parties, plays, etc. And just for clarity, it's not phrased as "whatever I please". The specific wording is "promotional or other purposes".