10 May 2011
I posted a short film on my youtube channel, TrueIndieProject. The short film is called “The Canadian Mafia” or “La Cosa Nostra del nord.” Either of these names is fine with me. I have two pieces of copyrighted classical music pieces in the film, the rights to which I paid for to Partners In Rhyme Inc. I have a copy of the license.
But the YouTube system suggested there might be a copyright issue and I decided to dispute it. Today I looked at the dispute status and it looks like UMG has “reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content.”
I cannot tell you how absolutely incensed I am at the moment. How can they possibly confirm the claim if they have actually reviewed it? It’s my movie. I have paid for the rights to use the music in it. The music is performed by the Apollo Symphony Orchestra in London. It is not owned by UMG. Yet they put in a claim.
I started to think about why they would do this. I don’t know why. It seems that if they put in a copyright claim, they are able to make youtube put advertisements on the disputed video and then earn revenues on it. This may be the only reason.
At this point. I really don’t care what the reason is. I’m going to see where this goes. I’m going out of my mind at this point with rage. There seems to be no way for me to challenge their claim. This article is titled “part 1.” I want to see where this goes and will post what happens with this dispute process.
I’ll keep you updated.
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1 March 2011
Some people it seems didn’t want to read all the rules I put down in another blog, regarding the release requirements and rules. They just wanted the form. So here it is:
If you get the chance, read up on the rules surrounding what can and cannot be used without a release form at the link below:
24 February 2011
This new film by Matthew Porterfield has been getting some rave reviews. It’s his second feature film. I haven’t seen the film yet, but so far the critics have been gushing. It almost gives me pause. I remember what happened to my head when I rushed over to see Jason Reitman’s Juno after reading all those adulatory reviews. My head exploded from trying to understand the point of a film so banal. My head exploded when I thought about the audacity of the marketers who had so little respect for the audience, that they sold the film as “fresh.” I mean who talks like Juno, or anybody in her family? I mean… never mind.
But you can watch Putty Hill, and you shouldn’t necessarily heed my warnings in this case. Porterfield after all is not Jason Reitman, who has all the right connections because of his father, Ivan Reitman’s brilliant career as a filmmaker. And he made TWO ridiculous “movies,” one of which I walked out of halfway through and don’t really care to mention here, as I’m trying to forget the memory of even its name. It starred George Clooney.
Enough of my rant. The point of this post is to inform you about music rights. I was reading up on Putty Hill, and apparently, they shot a karaoke scene where the Rolling Stones song “Wild Horses” was performed by the actors. They thought they’d end up getting permission. In the end they had to re-shoot the scene because the distributor could not distribute, without managing to get the rights to the Stones song.
Obviously a bunch of independent filmmakers are not going to be able to get hold of Mick Jagger. They tried the company who deals with rights issues for the Rolling Stones and they didn’t want to be bothered with an independent film. And how can you blame them? Microsoft paid Rolling Stones $14 million to use one song for a 30 second ad campaign… in 1995. $14 million in 1995. Any filmmaker who thinks the Rolling Stones will let them use their songs in a film out of the goodness of their hearts is basically miscalculating.
I just felt it’s an important story for producers and filmmakers and knowing about such issues helps us be more practical in our quest towards that perfect film.
You can watch the the trailer for Putty Hill below.
22 February 2011
Disclaimer: The text below is intended to provide filmmakers with helpful information in their preparation towards the production of their film. Nothing below should be construed as constituting legal advice. It should not be used as a substitute for consulting with legal counsel and receiving advice based on the circumstances of a particular transaction.
In the United States and Canada, if you are shooting a documentary, in most instances, a personal release form is required. If you are shooting a documentary on the fly and don’t have the necessary release forms with you, it is possible to use a verbal release, on camera. It may not be perfect, but it’s proof enough that your intent was to secure a release. Most personal release forms that are widely available on the internet should be good enough.
When it comes to documentary filmmaker, one thing to note is that release forms are not necessary if you are involved in filming a newsworthy event. If you videotape President Obama or Stephen Harper (for those of you who don’t know who the Canadian Premiere is), a personal release form is not necessary if you wish to put your masterpiece up on Youtube.
Please note however that if you use a video shot by someone other than you, even if the video is of a public figure, you need permission from the person who did do the shooting before you can use the clip in your documentary.
If you find yourself in a situation where you require a release form but are unable to obtain the release because of your subject’s recalcitrance, then you still have the option of blurring the face in post. If you are able to make sure that your subject remains unidentifiable by voice or context, you should be fine.
A copy of a personal release form can be downloaded at the link below:
Documentary Release Form / Personal Release Form.
Disclaimer: As mentioned at the beginning of the post, nothing in this post should be construed as constituting legal advice. It should not be used as a substitute for consulting with legal counsel and receiving advice based on the circumstances of a particular transaction.