In producing your video for this year’s contest, keep in mind these key considerations about copyright.
If you use content created by someone else in your video – whether video, images, text or music – you must respect their rights and incorporate that material legally. It’s easy to do:
If people appear in your video, you might need to obtain their written consent. Don’t worry about people in the background, if they are in a public place or anywhere they have no expectation of privacy. But if you’re focusing on someone, if they’re a character in your story, then do get their consent. (Contest organizers may ask for a copy of the consent form). Here's a form you can use: Talent Release Form [PDF]. Note that consent requirements may vary from state to state.
You are the copyright holder for the work.
Now it’s up to you to manage your copyrights to ensure broad distribution and the legal reuse of your content. To help you ensure this, the contest requires that you assign a Creative Commons (cc) license to the finished video.
Creative Commons licenses (http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/) indicate that the copyright holder automatically grants you permission to use the work, subject to certain conditions, such as attribution and not using the work for commercial purposes. The most accommodating cc license (Attribution) allows others to “copy, distribute, display, and perform” your work -- but only if they credit you the way you request. The most restrictive cc license still permits re-use (in terms of copying, distributing, displaying, and performing verbatim copies) but prohibits the creation of derivatives. Sound complex? It’s not too bad. Visit the Creative Commons Web site for some very clear explanations about how each license works.
Make sure viewers know the terms under which you’re making your work available. Specify the Creative Commons license you’ve chosen in your video, or on the Web page where your work is posted. Include the name of the license you’re using along with a link to its full text and the icon, if you like (http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/). Specify attribution – or how you’d like your name to appear – as well.
Example: © 2010 Jennifer McLennan, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
Some video sites, including blip.tv allow you to assign the license when you load your video. Take advantage. Tagging your work with the right license allows others to search and retrieve material based on the terms under which they can use it. This will increase your exposure!