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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Can We Shoot There?

Mass Media Law. Not only is it a class you take on your way to a degree in Motion Picture Production, but it's also something you have to consider when you make media.

Unfortunately, there are tons of lawyers who do nothing but tweak with mass media law, so it's a little difficult for someone like me to keep up. And some laws are just plain crazy, like many of the ones surrounding "intellectual property" rights.

When you go on vacation and you wander through a museum and snap some pictures, do you ever think, "Can I do this?" No, you probably don't because the only signs say that you can't use a flash--implying photos a totally cool.

When hiking through the forest filming your children running down the path, do you ever wonder, "What permit do I need for this?" No. Because, somehow, media law doesn't apply to you because you're an individual and you'll, at most, post it to YouTube (which has amazingly dodged many intellectual property issues. Guess that's what happens when you're backed by Google's money and lawyers).

But me, when I walk through a museum or forest, I do think about those kinds of things. Because I deal with those questions from time to time.

Like today.

What kind of permission do you need to shoot an educational clip in a national forest? Well, it looks like you need something like this.


We may end up in my back yard again <smile>.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Liability insurance will be required naming the US Government as “additional insured.” The Forest Service will determine the appropriate amount of coverage.

Um... that part from the "permitting process" part of the website tells me you could be liable for like... billions or something. Crazy.

Prisca: said...

You're right: I've never thought about that!

Clifford Jeffery said...

WOw. That is crazy! I would never think of anything like that!

chapman55k said...

I work in intellectual property (mostly patents) and it is very sad to me that so much time, resources, and effort that could so much more fruitfully applied to the creation of something new are applied to hording something old and often useless. IP law has turned into an impediment to progress instead of the incentive to invent for which it was originally planned.

Jill in Kentucky said...

Luke, I have a a 30 acres in Kentucky--field, woods, creek, nice and rolling. You can use it for free--and we will even let you drive the tractor or make a campfire!

Luke Holzmann said...

Mrs. C, actually, getting a million dollars of insurance for filming isn't all that pricey (I've gotten it for as little as $300 a year). Not sure how much it would take to get a billion dollars worth though <smile>. And, yes, it is crazy.

Prisca, I was hoping there wouldn't be someone would come back and say, "Luke, what are you talking about? Everyone thinks about that kind of thing!" <smile>

Kristen, yep. Welcome to the world of media production <smile>.

Ken, totally. I've heard there are some software companies that don't even write software anymore and just make all their money suing others. Not sure if it's totally true, but the trend is certainly real. And you said it best: IP law has turned into an impediment to progress instead of the incentive to invent for which it was originally planned.

Jill, I'll admit that we all got excited about the possibility <smile>. We will keep that in mind!


Heather the Mama Duk said...

Good thing your backyard so well lol

Luke Holzmann said...

We've shot in the backyard several times <smile>. It's good stuff.



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