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Top 5 Legal Essentials in Video Production


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Baseline Communications
Posted on 01/07/2013 2:39 pm

Entering the world of video production, there are a couple of important legal pitfalls that are easily avoided.  Having an understanding of what you can and cannot do is very important to keep in mind when deciding what your content will be.

Rules may be slightly different when it comes to distribution or audience, but if you understand and let us guide you in our Top 5 list, you’ll be safe.

1. Have your license!

When producing content, the client has to have the legal right to use it and distribute it.  That means that all photos, video, and/or music must be owned by the client or the client must obtain a proper license and/or release form to use it.  This also lends to working with one of our skilled producers who will steer you clear of using a Rihanna song or an image pulled off the net.  Royalty free music, video, images, etc. are used to add production value for the client.  Independent artists can also be used specifically for your project.  Ensuring your content is licensed is one of the many reasons to work with our team.

2. Is that your logo?

Logos, trademarks, and/or any company branding should never appear in your footage unless of course it’s your own or you’ve acquired permission.  Shooting in front of the McDonald arches, having a bottle of ketchup in the frame or any other product labels should always be avoided.  Companies take great care when it comes to marketing, and may not want your representation, even if it’s free.  This runs along the same lines as licensing, proper permission is always necessary.

3. Release it!

When it comes to production, location and talent release forms are typically used to shoot in a location and/or persons appearing in your video.  Baseline Communications supplies these for interviews, testimonials, and even those appearing in the background.  Hanging a sign indicating shooting is in progress can cover larger circumstances.  What’s most important again is written permission.  Someone saying they will gladly appear in your video is not sufficient, especially in an employee situation where the party in question may move on to other employment.  It’s best to have your bases covered.

4. Are you being deceptive?

False advertising is not only unethical, but it may be illegal as well.  Making false claims that mislead people towards a purchase is very shaky ground to walk.  Regulations may be in play to what claims can be made.  Having a lawyer review a script or final product before release is a good idea if in doubt.  When working with Baseline, we know these red flags and will direct you accordingly.

5. Own it!

When you work with us at Baseline Communications, our clients own all materials including raw footage and edited masters.  Any music or media elements are always licensed properly so that our clients can breathe easy in the knowledge that they haven’t missed anything crucial.  Once projects are completed, our clients take comfort in the fact that it truly belongs to them and they can distribute it accordingly.  Understanding the basic legal elements when creating video is absolutely essential to the ability of using your final product properly.  At Baseline we are always approachable for your production needs and will make sure they run smoothly.

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