Monday, January 13, 2014

Wants to Use Blade Runner image

Dear Rich: I am completing a scholarly book about the film, Blade Runner, and want to use an image from the film on the cover. I know who the copyright owner is -- it is "The Blade Runner Partnership" -- the problem is that I cannot for the life of me acquire contact information for the copyright owner. I've tried everything I can think of and have been stymied. In cases like this, is a disclaimer usually enough to permit use of an image? No, a disclaimer won't get you much if you're infringing copyright (though a prominently placed disclaimer may help you avoid stepping on the film's trademark).
Who owns the rights? Although Blade Runner rights are attributed to the Blade Runner Partnership and the Ladd Company, the controller of rights appears to be Bud Yorkin, the man who brought us What's Happening!!  and who supposedly caused the "happy ending" to be tacked on to the Blade Runner domestic release. That's just a guess based on the fact that Yorkin is credited as the transferor of prequel rights to Warner Brothers. In any case, our experience is that film producers usually don't want to deal with granting permission for stills. We'd suggest that you find a site such as Corbis Images that offers licensing rights to production stills and that also offers services to obtain rights on your behalf.

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