Legal Question in Entertainment Law in New York


Hope there is an answer for this. There is a current documentary that just came out on Netflix. I received a call from a friend and they said that my house is featured in the documentary (my whole house including my driveway with my car) is featured with one of the characters standing directly in front while camera is focused on character from a few feet away in the series. I was a bit flattered at first, but also in awe and thought if this is something that needed my permission, since it was my whole house and not just an unknown section where a person stood within camera and one couldn't really tell where character is standing in front of or blurred out background. Just wondering if this is something legal, or should I have received permission on? I live in Queens, NY.

Asked on 4/07/21, 5:21 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Frank Natoli Natoli-Legal, LLC

If this was all shot from publicly accessible places like the street and sidewalk then there is no complaint. This happens every single day in film making. If, however, the house was a focal point meaning it was involved in the scene where the characters are interacting with it then that would require your permission. For example, if the actors were moving onto and off of the property; climbing your front steps, etc.

If you need clarification, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.

If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.

Our firm is now referred by the American Bar Association (see under the New York section):

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DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.

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Answered on 4/07/21, 8:13 am

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