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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Toledo Ohio
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    166

    Default Photo in Nature Video Copyright Question

    I am doing a nature documentary that will be distributed to public access stations. This is a free thing I am doing as part of giving back to the landtrusts that maintain the lands for all to use.

    I was in need of video of a tadpole with gills still attached and am having trouble getting this footage. I found a photo online that was posted in a forum 4 years ago and can't contact that forum user as I don't believe he is up to date on the forum as of present time.

    The photo is shown for about 5 seconds in the video showing the larval stage of an amphibian.

    I also plan of capturing the footage at some point and replacing the photo with actual video footage.

    My video is on a website where other public access stations can download the video to show nationwide at no cost.

    It's a small world out there and you never know when someone will spot their photo being used.

    What are my liabilities here and what monetary damages could the owner claim given I don't plan on making a cent on the video. I have tried to PM him for the last 4 months and have no reply. But he's got the perfect photo.

    Could the owner just tell me to remove his photo from the video which I would do or could he claim monetary damages ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Photo in Nature Video Copyright Question

    The owner could do either.

    However, unless the owner has registered the video with the copyright office, the owner is not likely to recover much money (except maybe "reasonable" attorney fees).

    You can check the copyright office on-line to see if it is registered. It is probably not registered.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Photo in Nature Video Copyright Question

    Could the owner just tell me to remove his photo from the video which I would do or could he claim monetary damages ?
    yes and yes.

    I suggest finding visuals you can either obtain the rights to or create your own.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Photo in Nature Video Copyright Question

    Are you certain the person who posted it had the copyright? Unfortunately your only choice is to get permission, not use it, or use without permission and risk being sued for statutory damages.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Photo in Nature Video Copyright Question

    Quote Quoting LyonLegal
    ... or use without permission and risk being sued for statutory damages.
    Statutory damages are only awarded if the copyright is registered, which means the owner paid a $35 fee (or more) to the U.S. Copyright office and filled out a form.

    Virtually all copyright owners do not do that, which means they can only collect actual damages.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Photo in Nature Video Copyright Question

    Quote Quoting jk
    I suggest finding visuals you can either obtain the rights to or create your own.
    I agree. Being likely to avoid much in the way of financial damage (other than possibly "reasonable" attorney fees) is not a good reason to violate someone's copyright. I was just trying to clarify the issues.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Toledo Ohio
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Photo in Nature Video Copyright Question

    For safety sake, It is probably best to assume every photo that is not yours be copywrited.

    Time to get back out in the woods with the camera and get my own footage.

    Thanks for the responses.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,685

    Default Re: Photo in Nature Video Copyright Question

    The word is copyRIGHT.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Photo in Nature Video Copyright Question

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    The word is copyRIGHT.
    And why did you post that publicly instead of sending a private message?

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