If you want your characters to watch television, say something like a sports event, then the rights to the players, team or stadium have to be cleared – if the players, team or stadium are recognizable – just as they would have to be cleared if the footage were to be shown filling the entire screen. Note:

  • As all the royalties and licences for films within films have to be cleared in just the same way as footage destined for direct use in a film, the rights clearance costs are identical.
  • The fees for the third party rights will depend on the individual rights holders; they may well be lower if the rights-holders prove accommodating.
  • As a rule of thumb, backdrop/playback licence fees are lower when the footage takes up less than half of the screen in the film.

If you don’t need a particular scene to be recognizable to viewers, you may be able to avoid the need to clear and license third-party rights by, for example, changing the colours on team jerseys or blurring any brands which appear. But be careful with famous sporting episodes or film scenes, signature moves, audio clips, and so on – anything that is recognizable needs to be cleared, even in cases where only genuine experts could identify a scene, person etc.
We can assist you with this issue we deal with regularly and give you tips on how to reduce the royalties and licence fees payable. Simply ask your personal advisor on the Framepool team >