Vimeo and Copyrights – a Conundrum for Demo Reels

I have a Vimeo Plus account, and I got a notice the other day that Vimeo removed a video I posted because it received a complaint from Viacom that they held the copyright and I was displaying it without permission.  Then I saw another Director friend on Facebook complaining about the same thing.

Vimeo notice


Only thing is, the video I posted was a short clip of something I’d shot and had posted it for my demo reel.  On my website, I link to Vimeo versions of my clips because it’s a convenient and fast way to provide streaming video to computers, mobile, iPads, etc.  Also, the costs of streaming large video files are put on Vimeo and not my website’s host server.

Vimeo was smart enough to not let me re-post the same video or upload it again, so I worked around it by re-compressing the video on my computer and calling it something else so Vimeo wouldn’t recognize it.  Then I set all my videos to ‘Private’ on Vimeo so it won’t happen again.  I’ve noticed a couple of Music Video directors complaining about this recently, that the parent companies of their videos are taking down their samples of work.

I can understand this from Viacom’s perspective, and I don’t want to harm their bottom line.  I always wait until after the videos are released before posting on my website.  However, I shot the video and need samples for my reel.  I couldn’t have gotten that job if I didn’t have a demo reel that the Director and Clients could see, so it becomes a Catch 22.  They expect me to have a Demo Reel with amazing work on it, but they don’t want me to have their work to show as a sample to others.

Anyway, not sure what the ultimate solution is, but I found a way around it for now.  If you’re having this same trouble, maybe this will help.  I welcome comments and other peoples’ suggestions and solutions.  I’m not trying to harm the companies that I work for, but I also need this material on my reel.


About Graham Futerfas

I'm a professional Cinematographer working in Los Angeles.
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