Re: Film Copyright

From: Jeff Kreines (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Aug 05 2007 - 00:28:08 PDT

On Aug 5, 2007, at 2:06 AM, Rick Prelinger wrote:

> Depends on the copyright status and whether your use is fair. I
> would strongly advise anyone who sees themselves as a maker of
> artwork to do their work and avoid worrying about infringement.
> This is not a legal principle, simply a statement in favor of
> artistic freedom.

I agree completely with Rick. People go insane worrying about music
rights, and about tv sets with copyrighted material appearing in
shots in documentaries, which is just crazy. There was a very
depressing report about fair use that had instances of people paying
thousands of dollars to license the rights to a ringtone on a cell
phone, or replacing the image on a TV set in a scene -- these are non-
fiction films, following real events -- fair use in my humble
opinion. If a song comes on the radio when I'm filming, it's not my
choice -- I didn't pick the song or turn on the radio -- so it's fair
use, IMHO. (We once had very expensive lawyers say that was the
case, but that was 25 years ago, simpler times.)

(The magazine "Seventeen" tried to sue us because we made a film
called "Seventeen" -- slightly in tribute to Booth Tarkington, whose
estate, apparently, had sold the word "seventeen" to some publishing
syndicate. We ignored them.)

It's time for people to stand up and NOT be cowed into paying for
this stuff. For art films, you probably won't have to worry anyway
-- because there's no money involved so the lawyers don't get too

Of course, if you are making films of the sort that require errors
and omissions insurance, you are stuck. So don't make films in that
sort of system. To hell with releases, too. (The latest trend is to
require releases if a building appears in a film -- you are supposed
to wear blinders when looking at the Flatiron building, and, I
believe, that Transamerica thing in SF.)

Sorry, rant over. Needed a break from designing parts...

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