This is a very tricky issue. It's true that you get very gummed up when you
talk to a studio legal department, but if you don't and they find out you
have used a still, it can get dicey. The law is not entirely clear about
this, in terms of how stills would fit into the minimum allowable scholarly
quotation as a film quote. You can also argue that there are so few copies
issued of film scholarly books that a studio legal department is not going to
take notice, still a chance is being taken.
Back when I wrote MOVIES ON YOUR MIND, I had to excise a portion of a chapter
referring to LB Mayer's nearly cutting out SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW from
WIZARD OF OZ, since the studio lawyers construed this as speaking ill of "Mr
Mayer", in aid of getting permission to use stills from the film.
hope this is of help
hr greenberg md endit
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama.