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Re: using copyrighted footage for showreel

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Michael Munkittrick
Re: using copyrighted footage for showreel
on Nov 25, 2006 at 3:56:09 pm

[Cowart] "The reel is all about editing, so I wanted to use professional footage."

Here's the thing, if you're applying for a "professional" editing possition, and you are so unconfident with the footage that you've worked with in the past, what questions will that leave the employer with? Dependent upon where and for whom you wish to work, there are vastly different considerations that you need to grasp prior to cutting up other peoples' footage, especially that footage with not only limited personal creative perspective, but also with legal foresight as well. As a person who has hired (and dismissed) a lot of people over the years, I can confidently say that unless the editing is so tremendous that I either cry or feel moved to dance, I'd find issue with any application/reel that utilized footage that was not a part of the applicant's own body of work.

[Cowart] "I know that I am not allowed to use this footage for anything but private use"

This might be a misunderstanding on your part, but if you're thinking that recutting footage as part of a license to VIEW a production at home has been extended to you simply based upon your purchase of said material, you'd be absolutely mistaken. Bluntly, that silly screen at the beginning of every DVD and recorded-for-resale video is pretty explicit in the fact that you MAY NOT use the video for ANYTHING except viewing in the privacy of yur own home, which almost certainly negates the liklihood of your question with respect to legallity.

[Cowart] "The origin of the footage along with names of the copyright holders will be added of course"

I'm sure that this would help with your conscience, but the reality is that the rule is the rule is the rule. Your violation would create a very sticky situation that would be best left to other potential employees.

[Cowart] "would I be seriously violating copyrights?"


Good luck with the application, but I sincerely think that your due consideration of this should be further scrutinized before your make a mistake that gets you removed from the potential hire stack.

Michael Munkittrick
Gainesville, Florida USA

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