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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Question re: use of photographs in performance (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mr_Malloy
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As my first actual post (rather than simply the intro thread), I have what may be an odd question (then again, it may not be).

Has anyone advice, anecdotes, experience regarding the use of photographs of people in your performance? For example, I am working on a seance piece that involves photos from an old (mid 70's) college yearbook. I have changed all the names, etc, and I certainly don't know anyone in the photos, they ARE real people. Are there potential problems from using those pictures? Is it like other media where release forms are required?

Realistically, I will be eventually remaking all of the items I use from scratch (with legitimate stock photography), but for now, in relatively intimate venues, am I reasonably safe, even if it is recorded for a promo vid?

Thanks much and please forgive me if a question like this has been asked and answered somewhere else.
Tony Iacoviello
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First, let me say that a year book from the mid 70s is not old, nor are the people who may or may not be in it. Smile

I don't see a problem using it, it is a published book.

Tony
Mr_Malloy
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Yes, yes you are correct, sir. Smile I almost retracted that immediately, as I am not far removed from then and never thought I'd view those years as quite some time ago. It's just that the fonts and fashions and design-styles really start to have a different feel to them than the '80's and beyond.

Thank you.
mastermindreader
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If you were going to use these photographs in a professional act, particularly if you were to do so on television (or in a promo video), you could well run into breach of privacy and copyright problems regardless of the fact that the yearbook is a published work. Some states, notably California, have particularly strict rules regarding the unauthorized publishing of photos of non-public figures.

Just because the yearbook is a published work, the material in it is NOT public domain.

Of course if you are just going to do your show at local affairs or low-key gigs, I doubt that you'd ever have a problem, but wouldn't it be a lot easier, and a lot more fun, to contact your own friends and family members and get permission to use THEIR pictures in your act? Many of them would probably get a real kick out of it.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Frank Douglas
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Bob

What about Celeb promo photos?... I am working up a routine normaly done with 10-12 playing cards and substituting various photos of celebs from Movies, music and industry.

Cheers
Frank
DrTodd
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Quote:
On 2012-01-11 05:25, Frank Douglas wrote:
Bob

What about Celeb promo photos?... I am working up a routine normaly done with 10-12 playing cards and substituting various photos of celebs from Movies, music and industry.

Cheers
Frank

Even worse...check the copyright statements that come with each photo...

Cheers

Dr T
DWRackley
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This won’t answer the celebrity angle, but I just stumbled across a site (fiverr.com) that lets people advertise what they’re willing to do for $5. Most of it is stupid kid stuff; be your FaceBook girlfriend for a week, paint my forehead with your message, and so forth.

But there are some offers that actually make sense, including some photographers and video producer wanna-bes. It’s got me thinking of some interesting uses. Most likely you could find someone willing to pose for whatever picture you wanted, and you’d own all the rights.

Just an idea…
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
Frank Douglas
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That's what I thought Todd... thanks.

What about candid shots obtained from the photographer?

What I'm looking to do is use iconic figures. Something/someone that most people will recognize and/or have used personally.

As an alternative to people I am thinking of using images of iconic products. Cars, food brands, buildings/monuments, etc.

Cheers
Frank
MichaelCGM
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Quote:
On 2012-01-11 08:14, Frank Douglas wrote: As an alternative to people I am thinking of using images of iconic products. Cars, food brands, buildings/monuments, etc.
I had similar plans, using M&Ms. I contacted the company and was told that they wouldn't give permission for it. I don't know the "law" regarding their decision, but I respected it anyway.
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

MagicalMichael.com Smile Laus Deo!
Tony Iacoviello
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I just got yet another email from a site called classmates, they were offering me downloads of yearbooks from my high school.
gabelson
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Quote:
On 2012-01-11 05:25, Frank Douglas wrote:
Bob

What about Celeb promo photos?... I am working up a routine normaly done with 10-12 playing cards and substituting various photos of celebs from Movies, music and industry.

Cheers
Frank

If you join the Getty Images site, you can download photos of pretty much everyone who's famous (their database is extensive) and use them in your act- even on TV. I've written for a number of TV shows that all used Getty for their images, then subsequently broadcast them. However, many of their celeb photos are medium to long shots of them walking the red carpet.
Tony Razzano
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I do use photos in my close up bizarre performances. They are from a 1980s college yearbook. I don't know about the legal angles, but I am sure Bob's advice is sound. Although the effect is chilling and I have great success with it,I am taking it out until I contact the college.
Best regards,
<BR>Tony Razzano, Past President, PEA
Winner of the PEA"s Bascom Jones and Bob Haines Awards
mastermindreader
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Quote:
On 2012-01-11 11:29, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
I just got yet another email from a site called classmates, they were offering me downloads of yearbooks from my high school.


I believe that classmates has permission to offer the yearbooks. But that doesn't make them public domain or confer permission to use the phototgraphs contained therein for purposes other than looking at them as part of the contents of the yearbook.
phillsmiff
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We had to jump through insane hoops to get permission to use celeb photos in Impossible and I know for a fact that the license the TV production company eventually obtained cost more than a thousand pounds. Don't even get me started on what happened when we wanted to use the word Scrabble to describe a Scrabble board.

My recommendation for non-celeb photos at least is using photographs that are released with Creative Commons licence for commercial use (you can search flickr easily) or even photos that are genuinely public domain (morguefile.com - not as exciting as it sounds!)

Phill
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-+: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/phillsmith/incredible-magic-with-the-neural-miracle-playing-cards :+-
Frank Douglas
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Looks Like I'll be switching it up to use public domain photos of landmarks.

Not where I want to go, but I'll rework the scripting.

Pop culture to vacation spots..... big change up.

Thanks

Cheers
Frank
Tony Iacoviello
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I would argue that using a book, unaltered falls under "fair use" , no different than using an off the shelf book for a book test.
The rules change when it is filmed, but fair use provides for citing and displaying portions of a work for parody, commentary, and education.

If this isn't the case, most every commercial item displayed within the context of a performance would be illegal.

Tony
mastermindreader
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Tony-

We're talking about using the images of non-public figures for use in our presentations. That is not considered "fair use." It involves the privacy rights of the individuals in the photographs.
Tony Iacoviello
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I'm not a lawyer, but from what I understand any book that isn't classified can be used, as it, under "fair use". But, reproduction is prohibited without consent of the Copywrite holder, in the case of a yearbook that is the owner of the Copywrite for the book, the individuals who appear, and the photographers.

Reproduction takes many forms, copying, reproducing portions, filming, video taping... (Hence why everything must be cleared for tv and film.)

I've seen examples of fair use used by the media over the past few years in reporting news, they exhibited pages from yearbooks. I don't see how they would have "fair use" and no one else would.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, just not seeing or understanding the difference. Near as I can tell, the yearbooks are published as books, not folders of individual photos: If it remains intact, that is.

Tony
mastermindreader
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Tony-

I see what you are saying, but I don't think the OP was talking about using the yearbooks, but rather using photos taken from them. At least that is how I understood his question. Of course if he is using an intact yearbook, then I would agree with you.

Best-

Bob
Tony Iacoviello
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Bob:

Thank you. I had yearbook on the mind as he mentioned it, but yes, he does mention using just the photos. That would violate Copywrite law and fair use. But Tony's using a yearbook as he posted would be fair use as I see it.

Thank you for putting up with me.

Tony
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