Video use question

Hi Everyone,

I’m not sure whether this is the right forum for this question, but I need your help on something. I have been using Blender to make videos for scientists, and a couple of times I’ve been asked by a third party if they can use one of my videos. All of my videos are available on vimeo, and contain my logo at the end, but are NOT watermarked throughout. I am not sure whether I should charge a fee for use of the video by the third party, or not, especially since if I do ask for a fee and they refuse, they can always just use the video anyway! In fact, it’s impossible for me to know how many times one of my videos, paid for by “client A,” has already been used by someone else in a scientific talk or for some other purpose. It’s only the nice people who ask for permission, anyway. How do you deal with this problem? If I take my videos down from vimeo, then I have no resume’. If I leave them up, they can be used by anyone, even if they’re not downloadable because during a scientific talk the presenter can just play the video from the internet. Or should I chalk this up to “free advertising” and be thankful for the exposure? BTW, in the contract the client signs, it clearly states that the copyright for the video belongs to me…if they want to alter it or use still images from it, they need to ask my permission.

Thanks in advance for all of your advice!

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You should decide based on what the client will be using it for.

If their project has a decent budget then ask for a licensing fee and have them sign a contract. You will have to judge the appropriate cost.

If they don’t have a budget, add a watermark and ask them to use that version, then it’s free advertising. However, still have them sign a licensing contract, that way they know that the video isn’t “free” and they shouldn’t use it willy-nilly.

If you notice someone using your videos without permission, it’s fair to ask them for a fee. That’s how copyright is supposed to work, anyway…

I would use a water mark and force them to have your name in there.

This is a problem not just for you, but also for client A. If they pay you a realistic amount to create a video, they might expect some kind of exclusive license. In fact, it is common for scientific artwork to have a shared copyright between the scientist and the artist. This is reasonable, as the scientist often supplies the idea, some sketches, or even data to be visualized in the artwork, besides the work being a work for hire. The copyright notice is therefore usually double, the artist (or company the artist works for) amd the scientist (or institute/facility the scientist works for). The scientist usually gets exclusive rights, the artist retains the right to use the work in a portfolio, but should take reasonable care not to facilitate violation of the clients exclusive rights.

Thanks for all of your responses. Your advice, PhysicsGuy, was very helpful. It seems I need to make an appointment with my lawyer to sort out all of these licensing details and incorporate some new text into the contract that I have my clients sign. This particular video was a “pro-bono” project during my Blender learning phase, so there was no licensing agreement in place. However, I think it’s appropriate that the scientists, as well as myself, are acknowledged during the lecture given by the third-party user. Thank you for pointing that out to me!

Kemmler, you are correct that if I am aware that a video is being used without my permission then I am entitled to ask for a fee from the user, or ask them to stop using it. The problem is that if the video is used at a scientific conference or classroom situation, there’s no way for me to know that. For this reason, it might be better for me to pull all of my videos down, watermark them throughout (in addition to the logo at the end), and then put them back up with a notice on my website/vimeo page that “un-watermarked videos can be obtained through the payment of a licensing fee.”

Film World, this person has offered to acknowlege me during his talk, so there is that! :yes: