Monthly Archives: January 2014

Using Quotes in a film, video or media production

Using Quotes in a film, video or media production

In this video, Entertainment Lawyer Gordon Firemark answers a question about using quotes in your production

This is intended as general information only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It is not a substitute for a private, independent consultation with an attorney selected to advise you after a full investigation of the facts and law relevant to your matter. We will not be responsible for viewers'’ detrimental reliance upon the information appearing in this feature.

 

J wants to know whether it's OK to use quotes from scientific books and journals, and mention the authors of those quotes. Stick around for the answer.

Hi, I'm Entertainment Attorney Gordon Firemark, and this is Asked and Answered, where I answer common entertainment law questions to help industry professionals like you, take their careers to the next level.

Q: So here's J's question:
I wrote/directed a short film showing some behavior of a mental dissorder. I want to list some researchers and/or doctor's quotes and stats laid over the ending footage.

I got the quotes off of medical sites on the internet.. is it safe to use them?

A: Well, this can be a tricky situation. I don't know if I'd automatically trust quotes I got off the internet, without some independent confirmation that they're accurate quotes. It's probably best to go to the original sources. You could do this yourself, or hire a medical student or something to spend a few hours at the library verifying the quotes.

Can you use them without infringing copyright? Well, this depends on the quotes. Nobody can give you a hard-and fast answer without reviewing them. You see, copyright law protects the original expression of ideas, but not the ideas themselves. So it really depends on whether a particular quote is truly “original” expression. Then, we have to look at how much of the work the quote came from is involved. If you quote 1 line from a book, it's probably going to look like a fair use, but if it's 1 line from a single-page document, it might not.

Can you identify the authors of the quotes? Sure. as long as you're careful not to create any impression that they're endorsing you or your film. But, don't get the idea that giving attribution will help you escape copyright liability. If what you're doing infringes copyright, the attribution will work as the “smoking gun” that proves you KNEW the work belonged to the author. It's probaly smarter to just ask for permission, and get a simple release form signed, so you're free and clear. Most academics will be glad to be quoted in your film.

Hey, do me a favor. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. It's easy, Just click the button. And, If you'd like to Submit YOUR question, go on over to firemark.com/questions.

 

 

 

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Kindergartens must have upped their game. It seems they’re teaching negotiating skills. At least, that’s what you’d conclude from talking to my five-year-old. He has an uncanny knack for getting what he wants.   Here are a few tips I’ve picked up from observing my kids in the wild. I think they apply equally well… Continue Reading

Asked & Answered: How to Option a person’s life story

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MEETUP ANNOUCEMENT

  Tamera will be in LA for  the big music awards show, next weekend, so we’re having a meet up for our friends, fans and colleagues. Please join us for drinks, hors d’oeuvres and some laughs! When: Friday, January 24, 2014, 6pm – ? Where: Caulfields at the Thompson – 9360 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA… Continue Reading

Asked & Answered:  Movie line as a song lyric?

Asked & Answered: Movie line as a song lyric?

In this video, Entertainment Lawyer Gordon Firemark answers a question about using a line from a movie in a songs lyrics. This is intended as general information only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It is not a substitute for a private, independent consultation with an attorney selected to advise you after a full… Continue Reading

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