How To Get Permission To Use Materials In My Documentary

by Maya
(Los Angeles, CA)

Legal Question: After I find out the copyrights of a source, a clip or a related movie, where can I find a permit or who do I contact to ask what materials or referrals I can use in my documentary?

Example: I'm making a documentary but I would like to incorporate scenes of a different movie or clip for referral.

Law Office of Jaia Thomas | Answer:

You first must identify who owns the intellectual property rights to the film you wish to license.

The owner of the film's intellectual property rights is often the distributor of the film or the studio that produced it. You may want to check for the name of the distributor or studio.

Once you have identified the distributor or studio, contact their licensing department to ascertain the protocol and pricing for licensing a particular scene or clip.

Jaia ThomasAbout Jaia Thomas

The Law Office of Jaia Thomas is a full-service sports and entertainment law firm based in New York City and Washington DC. They serve as a regular contributor to Desktop Documentaries on legal issues.

For more information:
Twitter: @jaiathomaslaw

This content is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice. No recipient of this content should act or refrain from acting on the basis of content without seeking appropriate legal advice or other professional counseling.

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Feb 12, 2013
music rights NEW
by: Desktop Documentaries

Hello Maya,

If you're looking to get rights for music in your documentary, here's a great overview for that:

How To Obtain Music Rights For Your Documentary, Film or Video

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