I don't understand Copyright!

Any third party material you use in your film that you haven’t specially shot yourself needs to be cleared with the copyright owner.  It’s as simple as that.  If it’s not your material don’t think you can do what you like with it.  The type of things we mean by third party material are photos, moving film archive, music, literary extracts, book covers, LP/CD artwork, paintings or any type of artwork.

Crucially the material needs to be cleared with the copyright owner PRIOR to use or AVOIDED altogether.  File a copy of all your clearances with your programme paperwork.

This is the general rule but for some specific cases insubstantial use can be argued. There are rules attached to this and any use based on this argument needs to be checked.

If you have cleared the piece of copyright with the owner for no fee then you should get them to complete a waiver to keep on file.  Equally if there is a fee then you should ensure that you have an agreement of the rights your are paying for and the costs.

Download Download a sample copyright waiver form (PDF 82KB)