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Legal Advice on Public Video Recording

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Ben Watson
Legal Advice on Public Video Recording
on Apr 16, 2009 at 4:45:19 pm

OK,So my crew and I got kicked off Target and Wal-marts parking lot for shooting "man on the street" videos. We had the participants all sign a waiver, but not the property owners. All we did was ask questions, nothing else, and it didn't relate to the property at all. They just happen to have a lot of people coming and going.

What are our rights to do this kind of thing, what permission/forms etc do we need, and can they legally make us leave if we are gathering info under FAIR USE act?

Ben Watson

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Timothy J. Allen
Re: Legal Advice on Public Video Recording
on Apr 20, 2009 at 9:11:11 pm

It's private property, so yes, they can make you leave.

That's a separate issue than showing the store's sign or identifiable building design. That could also be problematic. From a pure legal standpoint you woudl need the corporation's permission for that too, unless it's "fair use" like a news story.

Actual "news" production has different rules. (which is a good thing for freedom of the press.) I admit that I've had disagreements with production folks that came from a news background over content rights issues more than once. I think this is because those who cut their teeth in the newsroom are used to being able to shoot with more or less impunity, while I saw the other side of the fence early because I started in corporate video before gonig into broadcast TV.

Your best bet is to do your "man on the street" interviews on public property, such as a city park.

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