Best Practices for Interview

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Best Practices Associated with the Creation of Interview Videos

1. Everyone Signs a Consent Form. Obtain consent forms from anyone whose voice or image is recorded. Whenever possible, consent forms should be signed by people in the background (if any) as well as those featured in the foreground. In the event that minors (under 18) appear in the recorded media, the parents or legal guardians should be asked to sign the appropriate portion of the consent form. Compliance with this recommendation may require advance planning to ensure that parents or guardians are present before the recording session.

2. Use a Bare Background or One You Have Checked Carefully. In order to avoid the unintentional inclusion of copyrighted works, it is wise to (whenever possible) film in front of blank background or one that includes nothing in which others hold rights (e.g., the Berkman Center logo). Any back-drop should be set up so as to hide any copyrighted work from the camera.

3. Public Places or Invite Only. In order to avoid potential privacy issues, it would be prudent to film only in public areas and private areas into which the filmmakers have been invited.

4. Consent, then Film. Get the consent form signed before commencing filming. This order precludes the possibility that a court would invalidate the contract as one made under duress. If you were to film first and then ask people to sign the consent form, a court might reason that the signatures were unfairly obtained because the signatory may have agreed only because the Project had already filmed him.

5. Final Review. Carefully review the finished product to ensure that it complies with these recommended practices. If the media does not conform to these standards, or if there is a question as to whether it is in conformance, please consult with the Cyberlaw Clinic..

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