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Re-editing a clients video copyright issues?

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Brad Magnus
Re-editing a clients video copyright issues?
on Feb 12, 2013 at 9:34:50 pm

I have a client that want to take their previously created videos that are approximately 4-6 minutes long, and have me re-edit them down to 60s-90s. My main question is copyright issues? I'm not really sure if I'll get to do it, as there are some other questions to be answered, but if the client paid for the videos and has me make modifications is that ok? Thanks for advice in advance!


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Stacy Lincoln
Re: Re-editing a clients video copyright issues?
on Feb 12, 2013 at 10:25:58 pm

If they paid for the footage and own it, there is no problem. If someone else shot it for them and they did not pay...THAT would be a problem. If there is "talent" in the footage...those people would need to be paid again, unless there was a buyout on the front end. If the talent did it for free, you need to make sure release forms were signed and the company has those. Those are some basic things to watch out for.


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Brad Magnus
Re: Re-editing a clients video copyright issues?
on Feb 13, 2013 at 3:09:46 pm

Thanks Stacy! I will check on both of those before starting work.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Re-editing a clients video copyright issues?
on Feb 13, 2013 at 5:47:59 pm

Also check that music and any stock footage remains cleared for the extra use. This may or may not be the case and every situation is unique.


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Stacy Lincoln
Re: Re-editing a clients video copyright issues?
on Feb 13, 2013 at 6:16:21 pm

Yes! Also good advice. I was speaking strictly about footage. Hopefully, there is no music on it. If there is stock footage, just be sure it's royalty free and they paid for it.


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Bill Davis
Re: Re-editing a clients video copyright issues?
on Feb 14, 2013 at 4:45:46 am

[Brad Magnus] "I have a client that want to take their previously created videos that are approximately 4-6 minutes long, and have me re-edit them down to 60s-90s."

The question is how "their" is defined in this specific case. In the professional editing world most of us here work in, "their videos" nearly always designates original videos that were custom created by the original clients - then probably yes, they have a prefect right to re-edit them.

Unfortunately, some people consider commercial videos they buy in a store or on-line to be "their" videos - and in that case, the client has absolutely no rights to do anything other than watch them in a personal, private setting.

[Brad Magnus] "but if the client paid for the videos and has me make modifications is that ok? Thanks for advice in advance!"

Same issues apply to this idea. "Paid for" can mean "commissioned original work" to a pro- in which case you're good.

Or it could mean "bought from a store or other commercial vendor" and if so, the client not only does not have the right to re-edit the work, they are in violation of copyright law should they do so without specific legal permission.

Language bestowing legal rights is, by necessity. pretty specific.

The safe course is that unless the client can make a compelling case to you that they own the rights to the material, you're taking at least some risk of being attached to a messy legal issue to re-edit stuff for them.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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