Legal action against me for not Film Permit?

itsme777

New member
Hi,

I am producing a commercial film project, and some of the film took place on the outdoor grounds at a university. I used the university grounds because of its historic look. Its not supposed to represent a university in the film, its supposed to be a castle environment.

The university footage is only 1 min out of the 2 hour film.

I already shot the footage without permit, and dont plan to get a permit after the fact.

Assuming the film was a success, I am wondering if the university could sue me if they found out i shot at there school. And what kind of damages could they really sue for?

There are no identifiable emblems or symbols of the university that were in the shot. However, some of the 1 min footage is shot in a well known area that people usually take their wedding videos.

Should I be worried? Is there such a thing as fair use?

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Nexus

Guest
I'm not sure for certain, but if you shot on private property, the owner can sue you. If the university is a public university, you might be okay. I don't know all of the legal rules regarding this, but I would do what I could to get a permit after-the-fact in order to cover yourself. Just in case.
 

NicoleME

New member
You may be alright to use the footage if it does not contain any indentifiable parts of the campus, like you stated. You could try to show it to the president or head of the University or someone who works at an executive level there and get their input on whether you have infringed upon their private property.

FYI: If you have to ask.....chances are that it is better to ask the property owners before shooting the footage. That way, if you won't end up having wasted all of your time and resources if by any chance you find out that videotaping or filming is actually not allowed on certain properties.
 

Fallingsunz

New member
you got to look at

you got to look at

you actually, got to look into it. find the lace in a records. you can do that online with the unv. that you were at. then you need to find out if they allow personal or all filming. cause if you can recognize it you can have the unv looking at you. but in most cases it takes a simple call to find out. like there is one at nc state that a friend of mine used for a commercial and ended u getting the commercial used for not having the proper paperwork
 

temerson

New member
Regardless of whether you are shooting at a public or private university, it doesn't matter. Fair Use rules (in regard to anything captured on film -- not necessarily previously-shot footage which may be available for free) ONLY apply if you are developing a project under a not-for-profit status. If your ultimate goal is to make a film that could be sold and distributed, then you would not be protected under fair-use laws.

If you are a student that is making a short film (generally not made for-profit), then all you need is permission (which most universities are okay with after-the-fact). If you are making a commercial movie, then they will probably want a production fee. The best advice is to go to the Reservations Office (almost every university has one at the student center) and the Provost's office to double check on anything of this nature.

But, of course, the best thing to do is hire an attorney. I know that a lot of students can not afford an attorney, but if you look hard enough and ask around, chances are you can find a friend or a friend of a friend that will be able to help you out with these more specific questions.

But the general rule is:

I want to sell my movie, I must get permission and pay a fee.

I want to make my movie, probably just get permission if I want to send it to festivals.
 
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BenB

Guest
I've shot at Loyola University in New Orleans, and not only had to get permission, but had to show them I had liability insurance, ten thousand dollars worth (you don't put up that much, only a few hundred). So if you plan to ask before hand, many places will not make you pay a fee, (Loyola didn't), but provide proof of liability insurance. Just FYI.
 

Victorweb

New member
Fair CAN apply to commerical productions

Fair CAN apply to commerical productions

"If your ultimate goal is to make a film that could be sold and distributed, then you would not be protected under fair-use laws."

This is an incorrect statement, as I have read the Best Practices for Fair Use and, although one of the 4 criteria for Fair Use is whether it is for profit or not-for-profit, that does not preclude Fair Use from being considered. It is a balance of the four criteria, and is a case-by-case application. This would be for a documentary, profit or not-for-profit.
 

temerson

New member
It is true that there are criteria for meeting the Fair Use Standards and Practices Guidelines and they change depending on a project, but generally (working under the assumption that the film you are shooting is fictional narrative), a fictional work will only be applicable if it is covered under the not-for-profit status.

The other misconception about Fair Use here is that it applies to anything that is scheduled to be shot, not what is already produced and distributed in a large market. Fair Use generally applies to the use of snippets of audio and image that have already been produced -- not a film that is slated to be shot. It becomes a question of rights to an image, and the school holds those rights regardless.

Let me put it plainly. If you wanted to make a documentary about Indiana basketball, you could legitimately use snippets of the movie "Hoosiers," assuming that they fell within the parameters of Fair Use law (30 seconds to 2 minutes in length, generally). But, if you wanted to make a movie where your characters are watching "Hoosiers," you will need permission from the company holding the distribution rights to the film if you intended to sell this film -- but only if this fictional narrative was not-for-profit (for a film class production or high school project).

The main criteria for Fair Use to apply is that any material using it must meet a requirement that the project carries the virtue of education -- the whole purpose for the development of Fair Use laws.

As far as Fair Use regarding the image of a university itself in a yet-to-be produced film, there are two things you need to remember:

1. While it may be a public university, the State government probably holds all rights to images and sounds that may be recorded on campus. Hence, the reason you need to get permission from the university. It is a question of permission, not of Fair Use.

2. Now, the question is not whether I am correct or not. The question you need to be asking yourself here is one of permissions to shoot, not permissions to use material. There is a distinct legal difference, and I defer to my previous post where I suggest finding an attorney who can lead you through this process.
 

legalrights

New member
Legal action against me for not Film Permit?

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leomartin6

New member
Huy! This forum is really helpful for young film - makers from all around the world. They bring new concepts, promote new talent and provide entertainment in a dynamic way. Have fun.
 

grinner

New member
You only need permits to be on grounds that would otherwise be trespassing. You need no releases for structures.
 
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BenB

Guest
Even "public" universities are private property. They're publicly funded, but "owned" by the university board, and are private property.
 
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