How do I do right by a giant, evil media corporation
November 23, 2009 10:44 PM   Subscribe

How can I go about contacting CBS to ask for permission to post clips from 1970s talkshows on Youtube/Podcasts?

I'm involved in promoting a book whose author is long dead, but he was interviewed by Donahue and Oprah in 1979 about his research. (it involves human sexual response and the differences between sexual and interpersonal relationships).

I've done extensive google-fu and can't find an office or a number or an email of anybody to ask.

We have the tapes all ready to go up onto the Tubes, but don't want to get into any legal trouble / promise customers content that we can't actually provide. Both the Donahue and Oprah interviews are about half an hour long, and were part of regular broadcasts.

The proceeds of all the book sales will go to charity, so it's not like anybody will be making money off it.

Though Oprah has her own media empire now, the show she had in the 1970s was "People are Talking" and not "The Oprah Winfrey Show" so I think CBS has the rights and not Oprah.
posted by Jon_Evil to Law & Government (2 answers total)
"People are Talking" appears to have been produced by Baltimore CBS affiliate WJZ-TV - you can contact them at the following number.

WGN produced Donahue from 1974-1982; they can be reached at 773.528.2311. (WBBM produced the show from 1982-1985 - they are at 312.944.6000.)

You can also try to contact the CBS TV Footage Licensing Department here.
posted by phaedon at 12:35 AM on November 24, 2009

Unless things have changed recently, you may be surprised at the cost of legally using the footage.

I researched something similar with a different network about five years ago and was stunned to discover that they wanted (IIRC) about US$10K for the right to use 60 seconds of footage for three years. There was no distinction between, say, using the footage in a Hollywood blockbuster or in a high school variety show.

It goes without saying that the copyright owners can charge whatever they like. But prices that high are a powerful disincentive, even for someone who wants to do the right thing.
posted by quidividi at 4:54 AM on November 24, 2009

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