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Legal tips for your corporate video

What type of content might you have in your video production that you’re getting from some one else? In this video interview I did for Web Marketing Today, I explain some very basic legal issues with online video, including rights and permissions that every business needs to be aware of. We cover topics such as “fair use,” stock footage, music used in videos, getting permissions for usage, and when to consult with an attorney.

1) Get Permissions

There can be a lot of copyrights and right-of-publicity issues involved with any video you produce and publish. They can include:

  • Other people’s own copyrighted footage (e.g., video, audio recordings, or graphics) you wish to insert in your video
  • Talent featured in the video, either paid or non-paid.
  • Locations in your video. If you’re shooting at an event, you may also have to get permissions from the facility holding the event, as well as the event promoters.
  • Usage. How you feature any of these people or things in your video production directly relates to the types of Chicago production companies permissions you need. Even if you have permission to record something or someone, you may only be allowed to do so for personal use, not for public use. Or, you may be allowed to publish a video for informational purposes, but not for commercial purposes. (I.e., such as implying an endorsement of your business or to sell something.)

2) Understand “Fair Use”

Video publishers, Chicago production companies and marketers who haven’t received expressed permissions (such as in writing or otherwise recorded) definitely need to understand what is fair use – I.e., when you have protection under the law to copy someone’s copyrighted material. For example, as I covered in my earlier article on the “Fountain Lady,” fair use protections with a video are much stronger when that video is considered “newsworthy,” versus publishing a video primarily for commercial purposes (or even selling that video).

3) Know When To Consult With An Attorney

If you haven’t done so at least once already, talk with an attorney who specializes in intellectual property, Internet law, and entertainment law. (Ideally, one who not only follows the online video space and has consulted with clients on web video campaigns, but participates in web video production marketing as well.) If you’re doing a big campaign involving video, consider budgeting for consulting with an attorney to have your project plans reviewed. This way you can be advised on what permissions you may or may not need to get, and what precautions you may need to take, before you start shooting, and then publishing. At the very least, you should have a much better awareness of what the risks are and how to prepare accordingly.

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