1. Leanne

    Leanne Member

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    Copyright

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Leanne, Jun 14, 2018.

    Hello, everyone.
    I seek a piece of advice concerning copyright.
    I am planning a story in which I want to include the shooting of a film. But this will be a kind of experimental film in terms of one actor, actress to be precise, and others will be real people, definitely not actors or actresses. And I would like to ask if this kind of film would be OK in terms of rights and the law, if those people will not know that they are a part of the film. And an important question is - could this film be played in cinemas? And there will also be an erotic scene, quite "a wild one", so I think that this is also an important thing to consider when it comes to rights and the law.
    The point of this story is that those people can´t know that they are a part of this film. I want my heroine to pay quite dearly for her playing with the trust of other people and for misusing them.
    The story is set in 2016 or 2017 and will probably be set somewhere in the UK or the USA, so if there is someone who lives there and knows the law, it would be very useful and I would be very grateful.
    Thank you for every piece of advice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  2. Linz

    Linz Active Member

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    So it sounds like it would be a sort of social experiment/documentary thing?

    Unless you're using the name of a film already in existence, I can't see how it could be copyright infringement, unless it uses paragraphs of an already-published novel/scenes of an already broadcast film/show.

    A book that just happens to feature a film with cinemas won't necessarily infringe copyright, but if it is a social experiment/documentary thing, they're usually broadcast on TV, rather than cinemas - at least they are here in the UK:

    https://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p01_uk_copyright_law

    A potential snag could be privacy law, in that you're proposing most of the participants in this film/documentary/social experiment, don't know they're participating in it;

    https://www.lawontheweb.co.uk/legal-help/right-to-privacy
     
  3. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    I'm confused. Is this more like Punked, or Bowfinger? In Punked they film practical jokes that they play on unsuspecting people and use their reactions. In the movie Bowfinger, Steve Martin's character tried to film a movie by manipulating someone into situations that fit with what they needed to record.

    Neither are legal to use without permission. I'm not sure recording them with the intent of using it is itself illegal (because shows like Punked get permission after the fact,) but in order to use the footage you definitely need permission.
     
  4. Leanne

    Leanne Member

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    Well, the story is about famous actress who seems to have lost everything - money, fame, she evidently has also debts, so she comes to her hometown to seek refuge because she never mentioned to anyone where she comes from, she´s embarrassed of her hometown. But all of this is just a play and it was her idea - she made up all of this, the whole idea, just to earn more money. I am not sure if such a film presented on TV would earn as much money as she wants. At the end she will not care about money, but before that, her primary goal is to earn money.
    I may not need too many real people. When I think about it I can also use other actors in some roles (a person who will seize her property, even cops), but still these will not be as important as she will be. But up to 6 or 7 people must not be actors/actresses.
    So do you know about any way how to avoid the infringement of the privacy law but keep the point that those people will not know they are a part of it? I suppose most of those people would like to earn some money for that film, so I think it shouldn´t be problem to get their signature after the shooting is finished but before the presentation of the film. So it would be enough to get their signature like that?
     
  5. Leanne

    Leanne Member

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    Well, it resembles the film Bowfinger. Many scenes will probably be more like improvisation.
     
  6. Linz

    Linz Active Member

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    I suppose there are always ways round it. There are wearable CCTV cameras now, including some small enough to fit into a breast pocket. How legal going public with that would be, I'm not sure and you'd have to look it up.

    Or she could ask them if it's OK to film them, but be dishonest about the reason why? Would still lead to the sort of backlash you'd want.

    What sort of recording would she be doing? It could influence the sort of response she could get from police.

    Or what about setting it in a dystopian UK/America?
     
  7. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'd set it in the states tbh you don't want your characters to have to fuck with the GDPR
     
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  8. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I feel the need for clarification.

    Are you talking about YOU experiencing real world copyright claims?

    Or is this a purely fictional situation and you're talking about YOUR CHARACTERS experiencing fictional world copyright claims?

    I assumed the second, but several posters seem to be assuming the first.

    Edited to add: Also, if you're talking about your fictional character getting into legal trouble for filming people without permission, that's not copyright. It's something else.
     
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  9. Leanne

    Leanne Member

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    Well, it´s real world but fictional characters. I don´t think it is important to distinguish between the two, since if I want to write realistically as much as possible, then still I need to take that into consideration. But yes, perhaps it´s not about copyright, but more about privacy law.
     
  10. Leanne

    Leanne Member

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    Well, if they know about the shooting the film, I think it would lose the point. Since most of the people involved are real people, not actors or actresses, I think it would affect their spontaneity. I really want those people to believe that what is happening is real.
    Well, I was thinking about a film which would be not that standard, kind of an experiment.
    I don´t like this kind of books with dystopian worlds. I think this can be done even in the real world.
     
  11. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    OK, I remain confused. How much of this is fiction, and how much is not? If you, yourself, are planning to literally do this filming, rather than write a purely fictional story in which a character films other characters, you absolutely need to discuss it with a lawyer. The issues could extend past copyright and into criminal charges.
     
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  12. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    I'll say! And in the States there would also be considerations such as filming permits, OSHA requirements, union requirements...Many of those things are designed to protect the safety of the people who are working on the film, as well as the general public.


    clarity edit
     
  13. Leanne

    Leanne Member

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    The whole story is fictional if that´s what you meant - fictional characters, the main heroine is also fictional, she´s not a real actress. I must admit I don´t understand what you mean by "literally doing this filming".
     
  14. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I mean, you yourself are not going to pick up a camera, or hire someone to pick up a camera. Sounds like you're not, so, good.
     
  15. Leanne

    Leanne Member

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    Ah, no, it´s just a story, I don´t plan to film anyone, it´s in the book. :)
     
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