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using commercially produced films in corporate video

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robert dupperusing commercially produced films in corporate video
by on Jul 3, 2008 at 7:30:04 pm

Hi guys,

maybe you can help me with this copyright question.

i'd like to use short shots from 50's and/or 60's movies, like casablanca.
the film would be projected on the model and background.

the company i will be shooting for will make dvd's and put them in boxes for their cusomers to buy.
these dvd's contain instructional videos, and one image video, hopefully containing this film footage.

do you know how this is handled, or else how i could find it out?

thank you for any advice!

kind regards,


robert dupper

sony vegas
after effects

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Mark SuszkoRe: using commercially produced films in corporate video
by on Jul 4, 2008 at 12:10:42 am

You can't do this legally without getting a number of permissions, which will cost you. Particularly for DVD's you plan to sell. The process for getting clearances and rights for clips of this nature can be quite rococo and convoluted, and will take a bunch of time.

You could ignore all this and press on, hoping not to get you and the client sued... but I advise against it.

Check out B-Z rights & permissions to get an idea of the scope of the problem and what it might cost to get done legally.

If this is something they REALLY want, another way to give it to them legally is to buy cleared stock footage with that period look, like from WPA archives and the like. Or you can try to parody the originals using brand-new footage.

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Bruce BennettRe: using commercially produced films in corporate video
by on Jul 9, 2008 at 4:32:18 am


With all due respect, you would be crazy to use such footage without getting it cleared first. Legally, you must get reproduction rights from the movie copyright holders. If you don’t, there’s no doubt whatsoever that you are in complete violation of copyright. For corporate video, the use of such footage is rarely worth the high costs of getting reproduction copyrights from the original owners.

Lawyers will go after you and your client. Remember, you can be sued for each and every occurrence of copyright violation. For instance, if you create 500 DVD copies, that’s 500 copyright violations.

Good luck,

Bruce Bennett
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC

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Stephen SmithRe: using commercially produced films in corporate video
by on Jul 11, 2008 at 10:15:38 pm

I know of a local video production company that was put out of business due to using music they did not own the rights to. Besides, how would you feel about people stealing the disc that is being sold? Getty images sells footage from big name studios and may have what your looking for but I can tell you that Getty images is not cheap. Hope this helps and good luck.

Stephen Smith
Lone Peak Producitons

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2

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