(A NATAS speaking engagement personified)
By Andrew J. Contiguglia, Attorney at law
Licensing and releases.
Basically licenses and releases are all about permission. There are two types of permission. There is getting permission from people to use their product, and there is giving permission to other people to use your product. So, if you are out filming on location you are going to have to get releases from individuals if you are promoting their products. If you are depicting a person who is readily identifiable, you need to get a release from that individual. In one particular case, a client was producing a film in Las Vegas and the scene involved a hotel room in the Venetian Hotel. When the Venetian management found out about it, it was able to argue that it was the only hotel in the world that had a particular type of pattern on the walls or couches. Rather than enter into costly litigation, the production company scrapped the whole film and had to redo it.