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Thread: copyright of video

  1. Default copyright of video

    I produce aerial videos for a host of applications, I am getting interest from wedding photographers who want to use me as part of their service. My question is when I provide them with aerial footage how do I stop them either selling it to other clients for other projects or selling it to other photographers? any advice on legalities would be gratefully received

  2. #2


    Well there is not much (e.g. watermarking) you can do on the technical side. Legally you can just put a paragraph in you contract that only allows your customer to sell the content for private use.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    From a technical point of view, you can't. There are many services that sell footage which cannot be resold other than as part of another work so you could copy the relevant Terms and Conditions from their licence agreements. Still best to seek advice from a copyright lawyer.
    You can't stop it, you can only claim to seek damages after the fact.

  4. #4


    This is a tricky one, I'm not offering legal advice BUT I see it like this. You seem to be contracting with the wedding guys as a camera man therefore any footage you give them belongs to them, end of.

    You need to draw up a contract which clearly states that the footage produced by you is limited for use on the specific production/wedding specified in the contract, with perhaps provision for showreel advertising etc...

    I guess that's kind of the same as Tim has already said.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    It's quite complicated... unless you get something in writing.

    Without a contract...

    If you are employed as (what used to be called) a camera operator where a director/producer/anybody tells you what to shoot, then none of the footage belongs to you.

    So, if someone says "I want you to do the car stuff and some long shots" or "stand there and get me good footage" and pays you a fee. Then the copyright belongs to them.

    If you are employed to provide a package, where the directorial control is ENTIRELY up to you, then the copyright is yours. Needless to say there is a massive grey area between the two. Just calling yourself a DoP won't wash, it's all about who actually produces it.

    So, get a written agreement. It doesn't have to be in legalese, a simple one paragraph (as suggested by Midnight) will do.

    Before digital footage, it used to more-or-less be: whoever paid for the tapes, owned the copyright.

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