Ikkatrā filmā kautkur fonā var gadīties kāda lieta uz kuru kādam pieder autortiesības. Pat dizainera krēsls vai kokakolas logotips. Lai no tā izvairītos režisors ļoti tiek ierobežots jo principā var radīt filmu tikai ģeneriskā, fiktīvā vidē, neizmantojot skatītājam atpazīstamas lietas un vides.
“Ten years ago,” Guggenheim explains, “if incidental artwork . . . was recognized by a common person,” then you would have to clear its copyright. Today, things are very different. Now “if any piece of artwork is recognizable by anybody . . . then you have to clear the rights of that and pay” to use the work. “[A]lmost every piece of artwork, any piece of furniture, or sculpture, has to be cleared before you can use it.”
The lawyers insist upon this control because the legal system has taught them how costly less control can be. The film Twelve Monkeys was stopped by a court twenty-eight days after its release because an artist claimed a chair in the movie resembled a sketch of a piece of furniture that he had designed. The movie Batman Forever was threatened because the Batmobile drove through an allegedly copyrighted courtyard and the original architect demanded money before the film could be released.