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    #11
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    The thing with bars is that they've got too much things going on, what with the posters and drinks and signs. Before shooting a scene I suggest moving on a place whos label/product availability ranges from few to none, then shoot. If you can't find one I suggest talking to the owners, which will be pretty hard to do.
    Proud Ekbackian (Head of Student Filmmakers' Committee)


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    #12
    Senior Member cyclone's Avatar
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    You'll notice that tv and feature shows specifically hide the trademarks and copyright (as noted above) if they don't have permission. This is because of a legal area called "implied endorsement" and they may or may not wish to be associated with your project. Call the trademark owners and they usually say "yes". On a little film I did, I wrote to Mattel, Hasbro and other toy makers and got "yes" from most of them. They typically just want to see the page of the script that involves their shot to make sure you aren't putting them in a bad light (or shooting a porno). And this includes background shots (the comment earlier about using depth of field to hide the marks is a good one).


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    #13
    Senior Member strangways's Avatar
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    I worked on a big-budget feature that shot in a seen in a liquor store, with hundreds of bottles of wine. The art department a number of different fake wine bottle labels, printed them out, and spent most of the day sticking them on the hundreds of real wine bottles. They spent most of the night peeling them off once the shoot was complete.


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    #14
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    we can shoot whatever we want, then it depends on the diffusion of the material. In case the infringement is done by the publisher (mainly). There are exceptions , some falling into the fair use or news. Regarding people and their right to publicity it works (in the US) basically like this: if they have expectation of privacy and you publish their faces then they can sue (the publisher). The same if I shoot somebody in some ridiculous pose. All again with the exception of fair use or news. Fair use includes educational purposes, even critics. Like another poster said consult a lawyer (and the publisher) before diffusing the material. if you post on your site then you are the publisher.

    P.S. as of today the record industry is the main watchdog for infringements , everywhere. They scan the publishers one by one . so music is the very first concern .... (rightly , we all must respect the rights of others)


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    #15
    Senior Member Sly9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mörkö View Post
    These things should be checked with a lawyer or some other person actually well aware of the local laws. Covering or redesigning brand names, trademarks is usually good idea and good practice. However, it is NOT absolutely necessary, or required, as some people seem to believe. You definitely can show logos etc, with some exceptions and limitations you should be aware of. Think about it; what if you were shooting a documentary? No-one expects you to avoid incidental logos visible all around in public places. Cars are easily recognizable and have logos all over; no-one expects you to have clearance or make imaginary cars even in big-budget fiction. Generally incidental brandnames in the background should be OK.

    Generally, if your script has nothing to do with "product X", but your character just happens to consume "product X", or hang around in places with "product X" visible, you should be OK. The questions you should ask are: If you take any still frame from your film, could you consider "product X" a subject of that image? Does that image comment "product X" in any way? Could you replace "product X" with anything without significant change of meaning? Does "product X", as a visual element blend in or pop out as significant for the viewer?

    - Things can be a bit more strict with products like tobacco and alcohol products. Usually they can be visible, but if anyone could think of it as endorsement or advertisement, you are in for trouble.
    - Trade mark owners can theoretically cause trouble even when you are acting within the limits of the law. Ie. they can sue you, which you probably don't want, even if you would win.
    - Some distributors or broadcasters may have internal rules more strict than the law.

    There might be other similar considerations, so always consult someone in the know of local laws and practices. Or play it safe and replace everything with imaginary products. You can always take redesigning as an extra opportunity to further define your story, imaginary world and color palette. On the other hand, in some cases using real world, contemporary objects could be the more artistically sensible option.

    EDIT: This, for example seems to be a good read: http://www.bbc.co.uk/filmnetwork/fil...ent-clearances As far as I know, BBC is a public broadcaster and falls in the category of "having internal rules more strict than the law", so following their advice should be on the safe side
    This sounded a lot more inline with what I have heard. Not saying that it makes it right or legal, but in most situations there is a reasonable person piece to it (not all situations though). I'd still make sure to cross my Ts and dot my Is by following up with actual legal counsel. Forums and advice can get you a 70% solution though.


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    #16
    Chapelgrove Films
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly9 View Post
    This sounded a lot more inline with what I have heard. Not saying that it makes it right or legal, but in most situations there is a reasonable person piece to it (not all situations though). I'd still make sure to cross my Ts and dot my Is by following up with actual legal counsel. Forums and advice can get you a 70% solution though.
    The bottom line is that if you show trademarked (not copyrighted) logos in your film without permission, you CAN be sued. WILL you be sued? Probably not, unless your film is just SO revolting and offensive that the trademark owners don't want the slightest hint of association.

    But whether or not you will be sued isn't really the point. I assume you will want to secure distribution for your film once you've finished it, right? No legit distributor is going to touch it without E&O insurance, and that's going to be hard to get if you can't prove you have all the proper rights and permissions to use any copyrighted or trademarked material for your film.

    You don't want to go to all the time, trouble, energy and expense of making a film that you can't then sell, do you?
    David W. Richardson
    Writer/Producer/Director/Editor
    Chapel Grove Films
    Celtic Cross Films
    Bliss Video Productions
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1400903/?ref_=tt_ov_dr


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    #17
    Senior Member Andrius Simutis's Avatar
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    Don't confuse best practices with law. There's a big difference in what's considered a good safe way of doing things and what's actually legal or not.
    For logos it's really a question of implied endorsement, isn't it? If it's an ad, then yeah it needs to be free of the logos. If it's news or documentary then it doesn't at all. Where do you fall? Somewhere in between. The reason a lot of shows (especially MTV) remove or blur out logos is because they're not getting paid by those companies to show them. The paid endorsement. Legally you can run those logos. You're within your rights as long as you're not implying that those companies are endorsing your web show. The problem these days is that sooooo many companies are endorsing every scene with paid product placement that it can be interpreted as such even if it's not. Would any of those companies care? Most likely not. If anything most of them would be happy to get the free advertising (see MTVs blurring of non paying sponsor Tshirt logos). The other thing would be defamation. For example you have your character spitting out his drink and screaming "This tastes like dog piss!" while surrounded by BudLite posters and bottles (maybe that's a bad example as BudLight wouldn't be able to prove in court that it doesn't taste like dog piss). If it's not implied endorsement, not defamatory, then it shouldn't be a problem. Note that I said "shouldn't" and not won't. There is that very very very small chance that someone can not like something and then all bets are off even if you are 100% in the right. That's where all the advice of best practices and removing every single logo comes from. That tiny litigious fraction that once sued someone somewhere over some bs. Did they even win? probably not, but now we're living in their world because every one else is scared of landing in court over some bs.
    I guess the people you do have to worry about are the worried lawyers of the paranoid distributors. If you don't have any of those and you're just posting this up online and you're not insulting the owners of those logos or showing them in an especially egregiously bad light, then f' it.
    Oh yeah, there is one other thing...if you're in the US you might want to make sure you're not breaking some arcane law left over from our Puritanical colonists about showing liquor to kiddies or some crap like that. Again, most of this falls into the "best practices" and "abundance of caution" category, but it's worth looking into depending on where it's going to be shown. Fun fact: The ban of showing alcohol consumption in ads isn't a law btw, it's a guideline from the broadcasters so they don't have to worry about complaints from uptight viewers. Another example of that "abundance of caution" becoming a defacto law.

    In the spirit of all this, here's a disclaimer...This is not legal advice and I am not a lawyer even though I have played one on TV.


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    #18
    Senior Member Andrius Simutis's Avatar
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    Check this out. Actual entertainment lawyers talking about exactly this issue:

    http://nofilmschool.com/2015/02/ente...logo-trademark

    http://nofilmschool.com/2013/08/answ...ertainment-law

    Trademark Law: Can I shoot recognizable places/products without permission?

    This is a question that I personally have asked quite a bit, and often with varying answers, "Yeah, as long as the logo is sectioned or is kind of fuzzy." "No, absolutely not! Do you want to be taken away in an unmarked van?" If you're thinking that I should get better legal advice, you're right.
    The simple answer is yes, it's legal to film a recognizable place, brand, or logo as long as the following criteria are met:
    i) the place or product shot is portrayed in the manner it is commonly portrayed; and (ii) the audience is not led to believe that the brand or store is sponsoring or associated with your film.
    However, Callif most interesting thing about what she says doesn't have much to do with the legal side, but the business side:
    Keep in mind that many producers do not want to put brands in their films because they want to get a product placement fee for doing so. This is not a legal reason, it’s a business one. Big studios also have policies about the use of products in productions, but these are business/policy reasons and not necessarily legal. Additionally, brands can be sensitive and may not be happy with being used in a film if they don’t like the message or how they are being portrayed. However, if you keep within the confines of the above, the brand owner might be upset, but won’t have a valid claim.


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    #19
    Chapelgrove Films
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    The brand owner may not have a claim, but that won't stop him from filing a lawsuit against you anyway -- one that, even if you eventually win, will cost you a bundle to defend yourself against.
    David W. Richardson
    Writer/Producer/Director/Editor
    Chapel Grove Films
    Celtic Cross Films
    Bliss Video Productions
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1400903/?ref_=tt_ov_dr


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    #20
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    Also from that same article...

    "On the other hand, anyone can send cease and desists or try to sue you if they'd like, so just because you're allowed to do something, doesn't mean you won't have to do some fighting for it. The best way to avoid this scenario altogether is to not show or blur/remove logos (or use generic/made-up products). That doesn't mean you have to choose that route, but if you're going to be showing a company's products or a business in a very different way from how they're seen in normal, everyday life, it's probably not the worst idea to consult a lawyer — or worst case scenario just avoid the logos completely."
    David W. Richardson
    Writer/Producer/Director/Editor
    Chapel Grove Films
    Celtic Cross Films
    Bliss Video Productions
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1400903/?ref_=tt_ov_dr


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