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Legal Matters: Forbidden and Allowed Content for your Explainer Video

March 30, 2017

A video production agency shouldn’t forget about copyright law and infringement because in some cases it may lead to a lawsuit. What a company can and can’t put in a video to avoid law violation?
The following things cannot be included in your video without permission of the owner:

  • Copyrighted sound effects, voice-over or music. These products are under legal protection. If you look for a music, visit copyright-free audio sharing websites. May artists share their contact details, so it’s better to buy a piece of music from them than to use a product illegally.
  • Copyrighted clips. Actually, any clip, image, photo may be subject to copyright. There was a case with the poster of Obama’s campaign, the image of which was taken from a photograph made by M.Garcia.
  • Limitations of community guidelines. Some video publishing sites have community guidelines which should be read carefully to avoid any misrepresentations.
  • Pictures of private property. This is actually a tricky question as an owner may prohibit taking pictures of his property.

This content is allowed to use without any additional permission:

  • Pictures of public places. Streets, parks and malls are quite appropriate for a photoshoot.
  • Your own intellectual property (logos, images and official company’s style). You may use your artwork without any limits.
  • Royalty-free music. This option is good for a video for business, but in most cases it is not free. You can find it on online music sources as Freesound or Premium Beat.

Here are some tips for companies and production agencies:

  • Try to find out the owner of the content you are going to use.
  • Make an agreement with the owner allowing you it include the content to your video.
  • Become familiar with the community guidelines if any.

Even best explainer videos may contain illegal content, so always remember of these legal matters.

Explainer video blog