Copyright

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Alwyn Anne
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Copyright

Post by Alwyn Anne » Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:39 pm

Hello all

Is there anyway I can use a few seconds of film from an old television series (over 40 years), free of charge and not infringing copyright to enhance a short film I am doing. Do films ever go out of copyright? I did make enquiries to ITV but they wanted a ridiculous amount of money!!

Ta

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TimStannard
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Re: Copyright

Post by TimStannard » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:57 pm

They do go out of copyright - 70 years (in the UK) after the copyright holder's death. So if you wait a few years ...
Sorry, I appreciate that's not very helpful, but your best bet is to approach the holder as you have already done. Perhaps you didn't explain what you were doing and the circumstances very clearly. We have several instances of people on this forum getting clearance to use certain material. Michael Slowe is very good at it and is best placed to comment. However, I'm sure he'd say It takes persistence, but often once it is explained that you are making a bona fide amateur film for showing only in amateur competitions/clubs (or whatever), extermely limited rights will be forthcoming.
This is one area where being a member of the IAC adds weight to your credibility as a bona fide non-commercial film maker.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

ned c
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Re: Copyright

Post by ned c » Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:48 pm

https://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copy ... 9_fair_use

This may be of help. Follow Tim's suggestions and check around with UK documentary film makers regarding "fair use". Here in the USA whole films have been made using clips from copyrighted feature films without the makers paying financially or legally. An example is the film about Stanley Kubrick and his influences.

ned c

ned c
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Re: Copyright

Post by ned c » Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:02 pm

Google "Room 237" for the trailer, the film and the story about this application of "Fair Use".

ned c

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Dave Watterson
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Re: Copyright

Post by Dave Watterson » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:37 pm

Sadly "fair use" does not apply in British Copyright matters.

I second the view that you should ask again making clear the very limited use you want to make of the clip.

It is not clear if you want a particular scene or just "old television".

If you want a more general clip have fun looking round Wikimedia Commons
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Films
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Videos

There is lots of stuff there. You do have to keep an eye open for items which are freely available in the USA but not necessarily in UK.

Alwyn Anne
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Re: Copyright

Post by Alwyn Anne » Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:34 pm

Thank you all for your information.

I did get permission a few years ago from cliprights to show a few scenes from a television series and there didn't seem to be a problem so maybe like you said Dave that I haven't explained myself properly, will try again.

Thank you

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Dave Watterson
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Re: Copyright

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:13 am

This just in courtesy of NoFilmSchool on Facebook:
http://nofilmschool.com/2015/07/documen ... ight-claim

It is possible that the song "Happy Birthday" may be in the public domain. Judgement is awaited and it applies to the USA but would almost certainly apply worldwide in practice.

Not what you asked, Alwyn, but an intriguing copyright news snippet!

Michael Slowe
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Re: Copyright

Post by Michael Slowe » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:54 am

Since my name has been mentioned in connection with this topic I can only endorse what has already been suggested. In my film about the Amadeus String Quartet, 'The Last of The Wolfgang' I needed to use some footage from a BBC documentary of about 30 years ago. It may have helped that the subject of my film and the BBC one, was keen that I obtain permission to use the material. I contacted the relevant person but it still took many months! In fact I'd completed the editing by the time I got the clearance!

I honestly don't think that these big organisations really care too much about our activities but boxes do have to be checked. We have to appreciate that in rather more commercial situations, there are rights and ownerships to be protected. As stated, if you take great care to explain the exact circumstances and stress the non commercial aspects you should have no problem. Even when my film is shown commercially, as often happens with my stuff I'm glad to say, I always make absolutely certain that I don't receive any payment whatsoever.

Alwyn Anne
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Re: Copyright

Post by Alwyn Anne » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:59 pm

Thank you Michael, I have written again making it clear that it is for non commercial use and explained exactly what
I need it for. I told them I was a member of the IAC but alas have not even received a reply!!

Alwyn

Michael Slowe
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Re: Copyright

Post by Michael Slowe » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:06 am

Alwyn, it's always preferable to get hold of the name of someone that you can speak to, even if it is just a first step. If you just write it gives them an opportunity merely to ignore the matter, especially as they might regard your request as not being worth the trouble.

It just so happens that I'm embarking on this very exercise, I need to use 30 seconds from a BBC documentary that was broadcast earlier this year. I contacted the very helpful man who dealt with me over the clearances for my musician film. Unfortunately he tells me that they only deal with music clearances, all other material of theirs is now dealt with by Getty Images. I'm very reluctant to start with them as they'll doubtless make a whole meal of it but I have been given a contact so I'll test the water. I could manage without this particular sequence but would prefer to include it. Thirty seconds of an anonymous woman talking might sound insignificant but that probably won't help me much!

Michael Slowe
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Re: Copyright

Post by Michael Slowe » Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:31 pm

There was I being all clever and superior to Alwyn, I've just had to give up my attempts to clear 30 seconds of a BBC programme. The clearance for general material is now in the hands of Getty Images, as opposed to music related material that is still dealt with by BBC World, who were so helpful with my film The Last of The Wolfgang. Getty wanted to go through such a complicated process, quite apart from being quite expensive, that I completed my edit without using the clip. Luckily I could do this as it wasn't really necessary for the film. My message therefore is: be prepared for quite a bureaucratic nightmare, leave plenty of time and only do all this if it's absolutely vital for the film.

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TimStannard
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Re: Copyright

Post by TimStannard » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:48 pm

Michael Slowe wrote:and only do all this if it's absolutely vital for the film.
And if that is the case, I presume obtain clearance before investing too much time and energy in making the rest of the film!
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Brian Saberton
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Re: Copyright

Post by Brian Saberton » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:41 pm

Why is it is that these days what used to be simple processes become more and more complicated to achieve?
Brian Saberton

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Dave Watterson
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Re: Copyright

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:09 am

I realise Brian is not too serious ... but part of the answer is that we are more ambitious. In the cine days our films rarely left our own hands. They were shown at home, once or twice at the club and maybe at one or two trusted competitions. If we broke copyright the chances anyone would know were minimal. The "harm" done to the rights holders was miniscule.

Now we put our videos online, send copies on disc here, there and everywhere. So the chance of copyright violation being spotted increase, not least because of computer scanning by YouTube and Vimeo. The "harm" to rights holders increases too because it is possible to make almost-perfect copies of their music, their footage and so on with our digital equipment.

We have it pretty good these days ... and through the web we can get a range of good music, useful clips and contacts with musicians if we wish quite easily...

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John Roberts
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Re: Copyright

Post by John Roberts » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:04 pm

Slightly off-topic, and it's a bit of an old story (though I've just come across it myself) is this ironic situation that the compulsory anti-piracy message found at the beginning of a great many official Hollywood DVDs did in fact use music that was... stolen!

https://torrentfreak.com/copyright-corr ... gn-111201/

:shock:

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