Mass Media Law. Not only is it a class you take on your way to a degree in Motion Picture Production, but it's also something you have to consider when you make media.
Unfortunately, there are tons of lawyers who do nothing but tweak with mass media law, so it's a little difficult for someone like me to keep up. And some laws are just plain crazy, like many of the ones surrounding "intellectual property" rights.
When you go on vacation and you wander through a museum and snap some pictures, do you ever think, "Can I do this?" No, you probably don't because the only signs say that you can't use a flash--implying photos a totally cool.
When hiking through the forest filming your children running down the path, do you ever wonder, "What permit do I need for this?" No. Because, somehow, media law doesn't apply to you because you're an individual and you'll, at most, post it to YouTube (which has amazingly dodged many intellectual property issues. Guess that's what happens when you're backed by Google's money and lawyers).
But me, when I walk through a museum or forest, I do think about those kinds of things. Because I deal with those questions from time to time.
What kind of permission do you need to shoot an educational clip in a national forest? Well, it looks like you need something like this.
We may end up in my back yard again <smile>.
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father