When researching archive footage for use in audiovisual productions, there are a few types of legal agreement used by archive footage vendors or institutional collections that outline for content producers: a) the rights and liabilities associated with the use of archive footage, b) the costs associated with licensing material and/or obtaining hi-res copies, and c) the legal jurisdiction of the agreement. These agreements often also detail any rights not covered in the agreement and for which the licensor is liable – and thus responsible to clear on their own.
Suffice it to say that understanding these documents is primordial for anyone who wishes to use archival footage in their productions. It can be complicated and is usually best left to a specialist archive producer, but for those going it on their own, here is a quick(ish) rundown. (more…)