Read The [Legal] Artist at MovieMaker Magazine

As many of you know, I’ve been contributing to MovieMaker Magazine’s Cinema Law column, an ongoing blog that discusses how the world of filmmaker intersects with the law. You can imagine why that would appeal to me. Anyway, my sixth article was published last week, so by way of self-aggrandizement, I thought I’d post links to all six of my articles to date in reverse chronological order. Please click through and if you have any questions you’d like me to address in an upcoming Cinema Law article, please email me or submit a comment on one of the articles listed below.


Cinema Law: Do You Need Adaptation Rights For Fact-Based Material? 

Q: I’m really interested in making a film about a real-life event, but I can’t afford to secure the rights to the book that recounts it. Since the story is true (and has been documented in newspapers), would I still need the rights to the book to tell this story?

Cinema Law: Why Using Volunteers is a Risky Way to Keep Costs Down on Your Film

Q: Is it legally permissible for a California LLC to use unpaid labor to produce a short film? If not, is it possible to use a deferred salary approach to defer cast and crew compensation until after the short earns a financial profit, if it ever does?

Cinema Law: Do You Need Release Forms for Passers-by in the Background of Shots?

Q: If I am filming a character on the street and real-life people walk in and out of the frame in the background, do I need waivers from each of these people if the finished film is broadcast or entered into a festival?

Cinema Law: Do You Need to Copyright Your Festival Submissions?

Q: I’m about to send my film to a festival for consideration. How can I copyright it? I want to make sure it’s protected before I send it anywhere.

Cinema Law: What You Should Know About Wiretapping Phone Calls

Q: What are the rules regarding wiretapping in documentaries?

Cinema Law: To Drone Or Not To Drone

Q: I’d like to use a camera-mounted drone for an upcoming film shoot, but I’m not sure what I need to do to protect myself from getting sued or arrested. Any advice?

Greg Kanaan

The [Legal] Artist, Boston, MA, USA