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montysimmons
montysimmons, Patent Prosecutor
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 315
Experience:  Electrical Engineer, South Carolina Attorney, Member of US Patent Bar
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I want to make a documentary that follows up to the

Customer Question

I want to make a documentary that follows up to the documentary Making A Murderer (https://www.netflix.com/title/80000770) ? Is that possible without me getting sued?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 9 months ago.

Hello,

If your sequel is has a different title, the characters are all real, and your script and scenes don't use any of the material from the other film, then you can do so without being liable for infringement.

However, you could be sued anyway, just to try to make it so expensive that you must settle the case, because you can't afford to defend yourself. So, while you may be able to avoid the final judgment, there is no means by which you can completely avoid being sued.

The most effective protection in circumstances such as this is to purchase liability insurance. That way, you can have the insurance company pay your legal expenses.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, the website retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

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Expert:  socrateaser replied 9 months ago.

Hello again,

I see that you have reviewed my answer, but that you have not provided a rating. Do you need any further clarification concerning my answer, or is everything satisfactory?

If you need further clarification, concerning this matter, please feel free to ask. If not, I would greatly appreciate a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise the website retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.
Thanks again for using Justanswer!

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What do you mean by making it expensive as possible? Where would I purchase liability insurance?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Could I use news clips and footage from news stations that are covering the case without me being sued by the news stations?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 9 months ago.

What do you mean by making it expensive as possible?

A: It's fairly common for large organizations to threaten and sometimes sue for copyright infringement, even where a claim is speculative -- because the litigation costs are extremely high, and no non-lawyer can effectively defend themselves in a copyright infringement action, because of the complexities of the legal claims and procedures involved. Failure to hire a lawyer, typically guarantees a loss, and that means you could be held liable for a great deal of money damages.

Where would I purchase liability insurance?

A: Any large reputable business insurance agency can help you with this.

Could I use news clips and footage from news stations that are covering the case without me being sued by the news stations?

A: For a documentary -- no. You would have to request a license from the various media organizations.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, the website retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What if I used Police interrogation footage for the documentary? Does that have a copyright? Here is the example of the footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYOaIDxirHEAlso do court photos like the one attached have copyright to them?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Court Photos Attached to this message.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Also can I use the title "Making Steve Avery Innocent" as the title of the documentary?The original name of the Netflix series is "Making a Murderer"Could I use the following as titles of my documentary?
1. "Making the Murderer"
2. "Making a Murderer: Exposed"
3. "Making the Case for Steve Avery"
4. "Making a Murderer: The Truth"
5. "Making a Murderer: Search for Truth"
6. "Steve Avery: The Search for Truth"
Expert:  socrateaser replied 9 months ago.

I'm sorry, but due to constraints on my time, I am going to have to reopen this Q&A session for others to assist. Please do not reply to this memo, or it will delay getting someone else involved in your session.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!

Expert:  montysimmons replied 9 months ago.

Lots of issues that one can think up - such questions never end. Best to get started and consider issues such as "titles" when that issue is ripe.

As for the documentary - generally speaking, if you use your own material, use public domain material (such as new footage (not news) ), and get a license to use material covered by copyright (such as pictures), your risk of being sued successfully is low.

Keep asking questions until you are satisfied.

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