View Full Version : Copyrighted Material


Beatlesfan1225
01-22-2011, 08:11 PM
I recently directed a James Bond fan film. The name James Bond is said many times, and we used the Bond music. Where can I actually show this without a festival shooting it down? I don't want to make money off of it, I'd just like to get it out there, it looks great. I made an Indiana Jones fan film a few years back, and all festivals shot it down, even Comi-con, due to the copyrighted content. any help or suggestions of where I could get this out there would be great, possibly any festivals open to this sort of film, or even a festival I don't know about meant for this. Thanks!

NickClapper
01-22-2011, 08:19 PM
Using copyrighted music alone will get it rejected from all festivals. I'm not sure what the legal position of using a trademarked name is. I suspect that if you can find a specific festival dealing in parodies, that's your best bet. But you'll need to change the music regardless.

PaulGriffith
01-22-2011, 09:08 PM
Internet is probably going to be your best outlet, though even YouTube will pull it if someone spots the copyrighted material.

No chance you could tweak it by cutting the "bond" lines and changing the music to make it a straight up parody instead is there? You might be able to do some ADR and lay it over cutaways with a name that sounds enough like bond that people know what you're saying?

Beatlesfan1225
01-22-2011, 09:15 PM
Internet is probably going to be your best outlet, though even YouTube will pull it if someone spots the copyrighted material.

No chance you could tweak it by cutting the "bond" lines and changing the music to make it a straight up parody instead is there? You might be able to do some ADR and lay it over cutaways with a name that sounds enough like bond that people know what you're saying?

I suppose I could cut the music to something similair but not exact, but I'd hate to cut the Bond lines. We didn't mean this to be a parody, it's meant to be a Bond flick. It didn't take half the time of my last project though, so its not a terrible loss if the best I can do is upload to Youtube.

directorik
01-22-2011, 09:39 PM
Fan films are regulated to websites only. No film festival will show it.
And, as Paul mentioned, even many websites won't allow you to post
it. Look for Bond fan sites that host their own videos.


Every once in a while I hear of fan film screenings. You should look
into that. That won't be part of withoutabox but will be specific to
specific fan sites.

donroy
01-22-2011, 09:44 PM
Now, it appears that you may be in luck, at least in the United States. Before going any further, I am not a lawyer and you should not rely on any statements I make.

However, a search of the USPTO failed to show any live copyrights for the word mark "James Bond. There is one active trademark for a graphic symbol using those words, but with 007 after it and the last number fashioned into a pistol. That is here.

http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4007:jlkihg.2.12

If the link dies, just do a search on James Bond. You'll get 14 returns. None of this applies if you are not in the good ol USA. If someone is going to go after you for using the name in the States, it won't be on a trademark protection basis.

Don

directorik
01-22-2011, 09:55 PM
The name "James Bond" isn't the issue. Anyone can use that
name; have people say the name out loud, refer to the name,
anything.

In this case the issue is the music. And as a fan film, there are
likely to be many things that are under copyright being used.
Parody is free game, "fan film" is still a grey area.

There are many of them being made and no one is getting sued
and many are even posted in You Tube. Some companies (LucasFilm)
and studios (Paramount) even encourage fan films to be made.

But film festivals are usually all about the original, so fan films are
not typically accepted. And most festivals do not allow the violation
of copyright which usually means music copyrights.

Beatlesfan1225
01-22-2011, 11:59 PM
The name "James Bond" isn't the issue. Anyone can use that
name; have people say the name out loud, refer to the name,
anything.

In this case the issue is the music. And as a fan film, there are
likely to be many things that are under copyright being used.
Parody is free game, "fan film" is still a grey area.

There are many of them being made and no one is getting sued
and many are even posted in You Tube. Some companies (LucasFilm)
and studios (Paramount) even encourage fan films to be made.

But film festivals are usually all about the original, so fan films are
not typically accepted. And most festivals do not allow the violation
of copyright which usually means music copyrights.

What about a phrase "The Names Bond, James Bond" would I run into issues with that? This def wasn't my most in-depth film, so I think I might just save myself any legal issues that may arise and just post it to Youtube for fans to enjoy, maybe even join a James Bond fangroup on Youtube and put it on their profile. The film is really a tribute to Bond fans, I made it because of my love of the character and the series, I had no money making intentions. Since fan films are "A grey area" I think this is best, and avoid legal conflicts. Piracy has grey areas too, but people get busted and fined thousands of dollars every day. Weird analogy, I know, but this is probably best..

If anyone does come across a fan film site or fan film screening as mentioned above, I'd love to hear about it :)

Beatlesfan1225
01-23-2011, 12:00 AM
My ultimate goal is to get this to the people I made it for, Bond fans. I'll look on Youtube for a Bond fan group, there must be dozens.

directorik
01-23-2011, 12:47 AM
What about a phrase "The Names Bond, James Bond" would I run into issues with that?
Not the phrase itself. A phrase cannot be copyrighted and
as far as I know, that phrase isn't a trademark. donroy?

But you still may run into issues. Whenever a filmmaker
bases their work on the copyrighted work of others there
might be issues. No one is going to arrest you and you will
not be fined thousands of dollars. Copyright violation is quite
different that piracy.

Maybe next time you can make a totally original film. Not
as fun, perhaps, but at least you can show off your talents.
Fan films are fun, but kind of a dead end street.

Beatlesfan1225
01-23-2011, 09:53 PM
Not the phrase itself. A phrase cannot be copyrighted and
as far as I know, that phrase isn't a trademark. donroy?

But you still may run into issues. Whenever a filmmaker
bases their work on the copyrighted work of others there
might be issues. No one is going to arrest you and you will
not be fined thousands of dollars. Copyright violation is quite
different that piracy.

Maybe next time you can make a totally original film. Not
as fun, perhaps, but at least you can show off your talents.
Fan films are fun, but kind of a dead end street.

I actually finished a full length original film recently, just decided to do something fun in the period during planning my next one.