If I show a product like a car or can of pop is it trademark or copyright infringement?
by Daren Wait
Question: Do product labels have to be contacted or is blurred the easiest option? Thank you!
Desktop Documentaries: I am filmmaker not a lawyer.. so please double check other sources (see response from an attorney below). The way I understand it, with products, it is more in the company's benefit if you show their product. It's free advertising for them! So the only reason to blur out the product is if it's shown in a negative light and you're concerned about getting sued, or perhaps you are showing a painting and don't have permission from the artist. You could even potentially use product placement as an opportunity to get some cash for your movie, although I would say that's fairly rare in a traditional documentary.
Check out Morgan Spurlock's documentary about product placement in documentaries. He takes the issue of product placement to the extreme.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (Documentary Trailer)
I would be interested to know if anyone else has experience or opinions about this.
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