Re: Film Copyright

From: Adam Hyman (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Aug 05 2007 - 00:13:45 PDT

Well, there's the law, and then there's what is done in the non-commercial
world of experimental filmmaking.

Strictly speaking, the answers to your questions are:
-- The original filmmaker owns the copyright, but if that person/agency no
longer renews or enforces it, it effectively becomes public domain.
-- It can be infringement, but people use them all the time, and I have no
issue with screening such works. There is a massive genre of experimental
filmmaking called "found footage films" that obviously wouldn't exist if
large corporations actually felt like suing, but they don't sue. But then
there is also Fair Use, and most found footage films can fall under that,
which makes it a non-issue.
-- It isn't legal to use copyrighted music in experimental films, but people
do it anyway.

Better than looking at the Frameworks archives would be going to see several
programs of experimental films, and you will rapidly see what people do.
Are you in a city with any exhibition? Or pick up the Kenneth Anger DVD as
a start.

Of course, worrying about the rules when setting out to make an experimental
film is almost against the ethos, know what I mean? Venues that screen
experimental work regularly don't worry about found footage infringement.
But you won't be able to get it shown on broadcast or cable TV, probably.
But if your film is really experimental, they weren't going to show it

Adam Hyman
Los Angeles Filmforum

On 8/4/07 9:01 PM, "D. Mark Andrews" <email suppressed> wrote:

> Newbie here getting started with small gauge film making. Looking for a good
> source regarding copyright information such as:
> * Who owns the copyright to old home movies bought off eBay or at the local
> swap meet?
> * Is it infringement to use "found film" clips in my films?
> * Is it permissible (legal) to use copyrighted music in experimental films
> without permission?
> Would be grateful if anyone can point to any sources about these types of
> questions. I spent some time in the archives before posting, but didn't get
> specific hits on these types of issues.
> Many thanks in advance if you can help.
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.