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Blocking Out Airline Logos For TV  
User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4116 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7563 times:

I was watching a good show on Discovery called 'Air Crashes that Changed Flying.' In it, there were several actual accidents that were reconstructed/deconstructed to their probable cause. Included were Delta 191, TWA 800, and others.

In observing the show, several shots of airliners were included. In nearly each one, the main identifying logos were obliterated to 'mask' their affiliation. It was easy for someone like me to determine whose planes we were seeing, but it left me with a question: Do the airlines insist upon this whenever 'their' planes are shown? Are they legally within their rights to even do that? Or was it Discovery that did this on their own. And if so, why?

The 'Photoshopping' was pretty humorous to watch, because it was blatantly obvious that it was happening. The only aircraft whose markings weren't 'obliterated' was TWA, which isn't around to legally battle anything anyway.

50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21532 posts, RR: 59
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7524 times:

See it commercials all the time. If you look at any commercial where someone is walking through an airport terminal with nice windows, outside, you'll see generic tail aircraft...


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15744 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7455 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
See it commercials all the time. If you look at any commercial where someone is walking through an airport terminal with nice windows, outside, you'll see generic tail aircraft...

Commercials do that all of the time. Usually AA becomes two blue stripes for some reason, instead of simply removing them.

Quoting ChrisNH (Thread starter):
Do the airlines insist upon this whenever 'their' planes are shown?

They rarely do so in Seconds from Disaster. In fact, some of the footage in the Discovery show and the AA 587 Seconds from disaster were the same shot, but Discovery edited the markings. Actually the AA 587 documentary bugged me because so much of the stock footage was of the 757,767, and 777. Even a few 737s managed to sneak in.

Movies almost always do. For example in "Miracle Landing" Aloha Airlines became Paradise, but the livery was mostly the same except that the stripe was blue instead of orange. In fact, the plane used in the movie belonged to Aloha.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7408 times:

It seemed to be hit or miss on the blocking of the logos. For example, in the second hour, when they were discussing the installation of EMAS @ JFK (As part of the segment on AA1420.), there were some JetBlue a/c where the tails were made all-blue, but the JetBlue titles on the fuselage weren't covered up.

User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1947 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7370 times:

I suppose the average person watching that show wouldn't care about airline logos and titles being edited out. But I found it comical. It was easy to tell which carrier it was.

User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1730 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7276 times:



Quoting ChrisNH (Thread starter):

In observing the show, several shots of airliners were included. In nearly each one, the main identifying logos were obliterated to 'mask' their affiliation. It was easy for someone like me to determine whose planes we were seeing, but it left me with a question: Do the airlines insist upon this whenever 'their' planes are shown? Are they legally within their rights to even do that? Or was it Discovery that did this on their own. And if so, why?

It saves the production staff valuable time from having to contact the corporations and obtain permission to show their logos or brands. Some airlines might also have loyalty rights where the station/tv network might have to pay the company to show footage of the logo.

It's sort of a sensitive subject in media ethics because the company could file a lawsuit seeking punitive damages alleging economic harm, among other things (defamation, copyright infringement)


User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4116 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7216 times:

One example where the livery is shown is that Bridgestone tire commercial with the JAL 777-300. That's a great commercial, although the guy was pretty brave to stand on the runway when the plane touched down  duck 

User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7545 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7179 times:

It has to do with the laws as often times in tv and any other print ad, if someone were to use the logo's its copyright infringement.


"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineLASOctoberB6 From Japan, joined Nov 2006, 2380 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7116 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Actually the AA 587 documentary bugged me because so much of the stock footage was of the 757,767, and 777. Even a few 737s managed to sneak in.

I thought I was the only one irked by that.. Eww..



[NOT IN SERVICE] {WEStJet}
User currently offlineSectflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 359 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7000 times:

Yeah It is annoying when the documentary is about say a 757 and the footage say of "that aircraft" taking off is a 737 or a 340!

User currently offlineEbs757 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 758 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6969 times:

I was actually watching the same show and the first one I noticed was the NW bird (judging by the red tail) with a gray strip across the fuselage right where the logo would be. Thought it was kind of interesting


Viva la Vida
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6934 times:

It's not just the aircraft themselves either. I was watching "Goodfellas" the other night and there's a scene where someone pulls an AA ticket jacket out of their purse, and the AA logo is covered by black bar. Guess they don't want to be associated with the topic of the movie, and want to protect their brand image.

It's not just the airlines either. There was a clip on one of those police video shows that showed a Fedex tandem trailer in the process of jack-knifing on an icy freeway. They had the "Fedex" covered with an opaque rectangle, but it was still pretty clear who it was...


User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6928 times:



Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 5):
It saves the production staff valuable time from having to contact the corporations and obtain permission to show their logos or brands.

Why would they have to contact the airline to show photos of their aircraft? It was a documentary.

I don't know what the rules are about this in Australia, but in the US I see new programs showing full shots of commercial jets every day. The also show shots of crashed airplanes with their tail logos clearly visible. Shots of commercial jets lined up at airports waiting to take off, reports from observation decks at LGA showing aircraft taxiing behind the news reporter.

The only thing weird about the national news here is that sometimes they use stock footage of commercial jets to illustrate a story and the jet shown is a 727 or DC-10 which no longer fly in the US.


User currently offline797 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2005, 1894 posts, RR: 27
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6879 times:

Quite funny to realize that so many a.netters were watching the same thing at the same time. I watched it and thought exactly the same thing. IMHO it's quite stupid, especially with AA's planes. They showed the whole livery on the MD-80 crash and named the airline repeatedly. Same with Avianca. But later on they just blurred the names so WE couldn't notice...

I believe that disguise is aimed toward the people that numerous times have asked me: "WHAT ARE THOSE TUBES UNDER THE WINGS OF THE PLANE?!"

Quoting LASOctoberB6 (Reply 8):
I thought I was the only one irked by that.. Eww..

They showed a 767 instead of a 757 having an emergency landing... and the worst part is that they did it many many times.



Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32787 posts, RR: 72
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6870 times:



Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 7):
It has to do with the laws as often times in tv and any other print ad, if someone were to use the logo's its copyright infringement.

It is not automatically trademark infringement because there are fair use exceptions. Truth be told, a quick shot of an airliner in the background in which the airline is not prominently featured and no sponsorship is implied is fair use, and there is no liability for infringement. Though some airlines might still try to sue.

Blurring out helps escape any possibility that liability may arise.



a.
User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1730 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6807 times:



Quoting Eghansen (Reply 12):
Why would they have to contact the airline to show photos of their aircraft? It was a documentary.

I was referring to the general practice in television. If the product or brand is being written into the story, then the production staff must obtain permission to use the logo. For example, talking about taking a flight to XXX on Delta, and showing the Delta ticket wallet.

I think in the case of documentaries, its to avoid defamation. Saying the airline's name is one thing, but showing footage of a crash, or a CG with the logo on it falls into a grey area that would probably upset the airline- especially if the show is suggesting possible casues for the crash.


User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6763 times:



Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 15):
I think in the case of documentaries, its to avoid defamation. Saying the airline's name is one thing, but showing footage of a crash, or a CG with the logo on it falls into a grey area that would probably upset the airline- especially if the show is suggesting possible casues for the crash.

Our media defames people, companies, countries, religions and everything else all the time. There is no such thing as defamation in the US for news organizations. They never hesitate to speculate wildly about the causes of any crash within minutes of it happening.

For a long time, the media promoted the idea that the TWA 801 crash was due to a terrorist bomb until the NTSB determined (after a couple of years) that it was actually due to explosive vapor in the fuel tank.

The first amendment guaranteeing freedom of the press and a Supreme Court decision of 1964 requiring demonstration of "malice" in false news reports makes it virtually impossible to sue for libel or slander involving any news reporting.


User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32787 posts, RR: 72
Reply 17, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6753 times:

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 15):

I think in the case of documentaries, its to avoid defamation. Saying the airline's name is one thing, but showing footage of a crash, or a CG with the logo on it falls into a grey area that would probably upset the airline- especially if the show is suggesting possible casues for the crash.

Documentaries such as "Air Crash Investigation" are based on fact, are of historical significance, can be considered "new reporting" and serve an educational purpose. The use of airlines' logos in these programs is fair use. There is no infringement as long as what is being shown is representative of the truth or, in the case of incidents in which the truth is not clearly known, what is believed to have occurred based on investigation.

Every episode of Air Crash Investigation uses the airlines' logos and fleet livery accurately in the recreations of the accidents. I'm sure airlines would love that not to be the case, but airlines can't really stop the producers from doing so unless airlines can show that the recreations were entirely fictionalized and unsupported by fact or theory.

[Edited 2009-04-27 21:42:41]


a.
User currently offlineChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4116 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6540 times:

This was a two-episode show, and in the 2nd one they showed a FedEx A310/A300 in Syracuse as part of an analysis of a runway-incursion technology. In one scene they totally obliterated the logos, but in another scene they 'missed' it altogether.

That 767-300 that was supposed to be a 757 at JFK was pretty funny. Media people seem to have dyslexia when it comes to identifying aircraft types. They must figure, 'If we can't tell a 757 from a 767, surely no one else can.' You have to love the myopia of the media. The world according to them.


User currently offlineLexy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2515 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6529 times:



Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 5):
It saves the production staff valuable time from having to contact the corporations and obtain permission to show their logos or brands. Some airlines might also have loyalty rights where the station/tv network might have to pay the company to show footage of the logo.

It's sort of a sensitive subject in media ethics because the company could file a lawsuit seeking punitive damages alleging economic harm, among other things (defamation, copyright infringement)

Pretty much it. Unless you have permission to use it, cover it up and CYA!



Nashville, Tennessee KBNA
User currently offlineBrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4226 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6420 times:



Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 5):
It saves the production staff valuable time from having to contact the corporations and obtain permission to show their logos or brands. Some airlines might also have loyalty rights where the station/tv network might have to pay the company to show footage of the logo.

Another reason to blot out the logo would be a competitor may be backing the Movie or TV show and would pull their advertising of their product during the show. Also leads to lawsuits form advertisers who pay to have their brands in the movie or TV shows.

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 15):
I was referring to the general practice in television. If the product or brand is being written into the story, then the production staff must obtain permission to use the logo. For example, talking about taking a flight to XXX on Delta, and showing the Delta ticket wallet.

My post above is a reason for what you are referring to.

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 6):
One example where the livery is shown is that Bridgestone tire commercial with the JAL 777-300. That's a great commercial, although the guy was pretty brave to stand on the runway when the plane touched down

The guy is in front of a blue screen, which actually green in colour, in a studio and could be standing on the wings if they wanted him to. The insurance for this type of shot if done for real is astronomical.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineKhobar From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2379 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6310 times:



Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 11):
Guess they don't want to be associated with the topic of the movie, and want to protect their brand image.

The way airlines operate these days, I thought Goodfellas was inspiration.

Quoting 797 (Reply 13):
Quite funny to realize that so many a.netters were watching the same thing at the same time. I watched it and thought exactly the same thing. IMHO it's quite stupid, especially with AA's planes. They showed the whole livery on the MD-80 crash and named the airline repeatedly. Same with Avianca. But later on they just blurred the names so WE couldn't notice...

Funny. I watched the show and kept seeing these generic tails and, at first, thought it was CGI. Then I thought they were showing some weird, unknown cargo airline over and over or something. Then I noticed a lot of the planes looked alike in their coloring, and I had the same question.

As for the AA MD-80 crash and the Avianca, I *thought* it was because those were news reports rather than stock footage. But then I noticed the little SAAB where they blanked out the name on one side but showed the name on the other - could be two different news reports (two different stations - one gave them permission and the other didn't?).

Did the end credits have any "footage provided by"?

Quoting Eghansen (Reply 16):
For a long time, the media promoted the idea that the TWA 801 crash was due to a terrorist bomb until the NTSB determined (after a couple of years) that it was actually due to explosive vapor in the fuel tank.

You mean TWA 800.

The explosive vapor didn't cause the crash - the spark that ignited the explosive vapor did. (spark ignited fuel vapors which caused an overpressure event which caused catastrophic failure of the airframe structure which, in conjunction with aerodynamic forces, tore the aircraft apart).

The search was on for what caused the spark, and to this day the NTSB maintains that they were unable to specifically identify its source.

From the various involved agencies' own reports, their ability to detect explosive residue had exactly a 50% failure rate.


User currently offlineRichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4263 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6303 times:



Quoting Eghansen (Reply 12):
Why would they have to contact the airline to show photos of their aircraft? It was a documentary



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 17):
Documentaries such as "Air Crash Investigation" are based on fact, are of historical significance, can be considered "new reporting" and serve an educational purpose. The use of airlines' logos in these programs is fair use. There is no infringement as long as what is being shown is representative of the truth or, in the case of incidents in which the truth is not clearly known, what is believed to have occurred based on investigation.

I think the answer is pretty simple - airlines don't want to be associated with crashes. Period.

In the case of this tv show - which I watched and noticed the same as everybody else - they showed plenty of stock footage around various airports. In those airports, various other airliners were shown that had nothing to do with the crash and the public might start associating these airlines with the crash. For example, the Swissair 111 crash was shown and there was plenty of AA and B6 "logo removed" footage shown during the JFK sequences. Some of our, umm, less-informed members of the viewing public may start remembering that it was AA or JetBlue that crashed or had some sort of poor maintenance standard. It's all about association. Heck, B6 wasn't even around when Flight 111 crashed! Instead of running it by the various airlines public relations departments, the producers took the easier way out and cleared all airline names and logos not affiliated directly with the crash they were documenting.

People on this site have to realize: crashes are touchy subjects. We all know they occasionally (and sadly) occur but any association with a crash by an airline can hurt its image or even sales.



None shall pass!!!!
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15744 posts, RR: 27
Reply 23, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6272 times:



Quoting Khobar (Reply 21):
The explosive vapor didn't cause the crash - the spark that ignited the explosive vapor did. (spark ignited fuel vapors which caused an overpressure event which caused catastrophic failure of the airframe structure which, in conjunction with aerodynamic forces, tore the aircraft apart).

The search was on for what caused the spark, and to this day the NTSB maintains that they were unable to specifically identify its source.

The best guess we have is that there was a short circuit and electricity arced from some higher voltage wires to the relatively low voltage wires leading to the fuel guages system bringing an electrical spike into the tank.

Up until that time, keeping fuel tanks from exploding was thought to be simple, just keep sparks and sources of ingition out of them. Unfortunately, the TWA 800 incident made it clear that achieving that would never be possible, due to arcing and shorts. So the focus is now shifted to inerting technology, which has been around for several decades.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineYellowtail From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 6174 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6260 times:

Probably just cheaper to do the CG to cover it up than to pay the lawyers to defend you (even though you would win in the end as MAH said)


When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
25 OPNLguy : I attended a class at NTSB's Training Academy (near IAD) about 18 months ago, and also got to see the re-constructed wreckage of TWA 800 while there.
26 Eghansen : Whatever the cause of the crash, I remember the news media in this country speculating for a long time that the cause was a bomb of some sort. They h
27 Richierich : I don't want to derail this thread to a TWA800 thread but I do want paint a quick picture for everybody. During the summer of 1996, we were only a ye
28 YYZYYT : Interesting - in my (admittedly very quick) read of the posts, nobody has mentioned Mayday. It is by far my favourite air investigation show. I am alw
29 Post contains links PlaneWasted : Top Gear's test when they drive cards behind a 747 is funny, at 1:34 the logo is blurred, but not at 1:56. Can't be a mistake, or? http://www.youtube.
30 Post contains images Birdwatching : In Homo Faber (excellent movie by the way, and an even better book) the plane that crashes is clearly a TWA Constellation, but they changed it to "SA
31 UA76Heavy : You mean royalties (i.e., payments for the use of their image). Because the documentary is for profit and a non-news story. Basically, to show any sy
32 Vatveng : Mythbusters does it all the time, even going so far as to blur any logos on Tory's T-shirts. It's the work of the lawyers.
33 Rikkus67 : If I remember correctly, the S.A.C. Constellation is actually from the "Save A Connie" foundation. This group restored a Lockheed Constellation back
34 Mayor : This is a little off tangent, but in the same vein, mostly. After DL 191 crashed at DFW in '86, within a year or two, their appeared on the cover of A
35 Eghansen : I suppose that may be true. However, I have seen documentaries on PBS including one on the Tenerife crash and they did nothing to cover up any logos.
36 MAH4546 : A documentary producer needs zero permission to use an airline's logo and trademarks on a fact-based documentary. It is frequently in the airlines' i
37 Ikramerica : Here's the extreme example. A documentary filmmaker I was talking to talked about a doc he did that included behind the scenes at a music performance
38 Lexy : This is true to a degree, but it doesn't explain why they didn't use the DL logos in this documentary about DL191 on the Discovery Channel. I'm sorry
39 MAH4546 : I don't think we are necessarily disagree here. All precautions will be taken by the producers of the show to make sure they don't cross any lines. T
40 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : And that aircraft was never operated by TWA. It was originally delivered to U.S. cargo carrier Slick Airways in 1957. And it's not even an L1049G des
41 Flood : Typically, filmmakers are required to clear the rights for any copyrighted or trademarked material. Much of the material in documentaries such as thes
42 Lexy : That's where I was going with my statement. So yeah, every step is taken like you said to make sure things are all "cool" with all the parties involv
43 Yellowtail : I assume CNN etc are non-profit news organizations then
44 Ikramerica : This is not true.
45 Khobar : That is accurate. Conspiracy theorists are never satisfied. I don't doubt someone thinks the "painting" out of the airline logos in the show is part
46 UA772IAD : Yes, I forgot to mention the fair use exception... Indeed. Momentary dyslexia. I believe that depends on the company. Some companies protect their in
47 Post contains images NWOrientDC10 : I was under the impression that t.v shows did it because they didn't want to advertise for free. Why give something away when it can be sold? I would
48 413x3 : there are reason companies are militant about the use of their logos, but 99% of the time it is because their legal departments really have nothing el
49 SNA752 : One copyright/trademark/patent infringement lawsuit and your legal department is paid for. If your firm isn't big enough for your own counsel in hous
50 MAH4546 : If it was not true, then there would be no air crash documentaries using airlines logos prominently. Airlines can't stop the media from reporting the
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