Internet Copyright Infringement

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  • #1
Drakkith
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Can someone explain to me how it is illegal to post home videos or something similar featuring part of a song, video, game, etc that is copyright? If I make a home video of me racing a Ford Mustang is that illegal too? I can understand if you have a full song, but just part of it?
 

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  • #2
phinds
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You OWN the mustang and can do pretty much what you want with it. You do NOT own the right to distribute artistic works even if you own a copy of them.

If you are doing a review / critique / something like that, you can quote small parts of a work under the "fair use" laws, but otherwise the owner CAN come after you for other use. Usually they don't (for SMALL use) but legally they can, so web sites try to avoid getting into legal difficulties because of such things.
 
  • #3
Drakkith
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How far can you go with "fair use" laws with media? If someones kid is dancing to a small clip of the song is that alright? Or if I post of video from a party and there happens to be a song on in the background is that illegal? If I'm not making any kind of profit, and I don't have the whole song, what's the problem, if any?
 
  • #4
AlephZero
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This is not just a copyright issue. There are also "mechanical rights" (the name dates from the time when recordings were physical objects, not digital computer files). The general principle is that you can't give a "public performance" of any recorded material unless you pay a fee to the people who created it. That makes sense when it stops a local TV station hiring a Harry Potter video from the local rental store and broadcasting it "for free", but the downside is the law applies equally to everything and everybody.

The problem is, with digital technology "part of a song, video, game etc" doesn't really mean anything.
 
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  • #5
AlephZero
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You OWN the mustang and can do pretty much what you want with it.
Just remember that the law enforcement agencies have figured out that some people who do illegal things with cars and bike are stupid enough to post videos of themselves on Youtube... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-15581748
 
  • #6
phinds
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The problem is, with digital technology "part of a song, video, game etc" doesn't really mean anything. It would be no big deal to take the complete Harry Potter video, chop it into 10,000 pieces, put them all on a website, and write a bit of software that played them all in the correct sequence.
Yes, but that would be so clearly in violation of the fair use laws that it's just silly.

Drakkith, basically, it's illegal to use ANY of a work of art (that is still under copyright) without the creator's permisison (and thus the ability to charge you for that permission), but it was obvious that this should not apply to small amounts used in writing reviews, so that's the basis of the fair use concept.

"Fair use" does NOT apply to any use you make of it (unless you are specifically wrting a review)
 
  • #7
Astronuc
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Can someone explain to me how it is illegal to post home videos or something similar featuring part of a song, video, game, etc that is copyright? If I make a home video of me racing a Ford Mustang is that illegal too? I can understand if you have a full song, but just part of it?
The area of IP and copyright has become murky because of the DMCA.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act

There is fair use.

However, the Verve was sued because they used some phrasing from a derivative work based on the Rolling Stones. The Verve did it much better, IMO, and the lawsuit against them should have been dismissed.

One should be able to use an image of one's automobile, but it may depend on how the image is used.
 
  • #8
Evo
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How far can you go with "fair use" laws with media? If someones kid is dancing to a small clip of the song is that alright? Or if I post of video from a party and there happens to be a song on in the background is that illegal? If I'm not making any kind of profit, and I don't have the whole song, what's the problem, if any?
Phinds is correct.

Some artists and their companies absolutely forbid any unlicensed use of their work. If they find you, they will make you remove it. Some don't care.

This should make things as clear as mud.

http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fair-use/related-materials/codes/code-best-practices-fair-use-online-video [Broken]
 
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  • #9
Drakkith
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Are things like home videos considered "works"?
Edit: Replying to Phinds.
 
  • #10
AlephZero
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Are things like home videos considered "works"?
If you register them with the appropriate fee collection agency (http://www.ascap.com/ in the USA) then yes.

I know people who make a significant amount of money (thousands of pounds/dollars per year) from "semi-pro" music activities as composers, arrangers, and performers. They are most definitely interested in keeping control of the stuff they put out on the web.
 
  • #11
Drakkith
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Alright, I'll browse through all the links and see what I can find out. Thanks all!
 
  • #12
256bits
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Are things like home videos considered "works"?
Edit: Replying to Phinds.
Copyright is inherent in the work that you have made. Any story, poem, song, play etc. that was made by you . You own the copyright from the date of publishing. That could mean anything from having a book printed in a copy house for distribution to saving your book on your hard dsik to stapling your papers together and filing in your desk drawer.

You can transfer your copyright to another party for a fee or for free. You can tell others that they may use your work of art as they wish, but retain the copyright.

The problem with copyright is that as a sole individual you have pretty much no way of knowing if your work of art is being used by anyone esle on the far side of the country or world or even just next door. Societies that have members of artists for a membership fee will examin most venues where works of art are used, such as radio stations for songs. a radio station provides to the society a list of songs played and pays the society the cents per play and the society distributes the said money then to you.
Even at a wedding if you play copyrighted songs from a record player or CD player for the guests to dance to, you are to submit a list to the appopriate society along with the required fee per song per play. You are providing entertainment, and using someone elses work of art for the entertainment and not your own.
 
  • #13
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You OWN the mustang and can do pretty much what you want with it. You do NOT own the right to distribute artistic works even if you own a copy of them.
That's it in a nutshell, imho. If something isn't yours, then respect the owner, and ask permission.
 
  • #14
phinds
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Copyright is inherent in the work that you have made.
I don't think that's right. It's not "inherent" you have to apply for it. I'm not a lawyer and could be wrong about that, but that's always been my understanding.

FOR EXAMPLE: one case that is frequently brought up in such discussions is the "smiley face" --- the bright yellow circle w/ a black smile in it. You CAN copyright (or trademark) such an item, but the guy who came up with it didn't. He gave away all rights for $60 and the company he gave it to didn't copyright it, so we all get to use it for free. Try doing that w/ the Nike swoosh and see how long it takes for the lawyers to come knocking at your door.
 
  • #15
Vanadium 50
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I don't think that's right. It's not "inherent" you have to apply for it. I'm not a lawyer and could be wrong about that, but that's always been my understanding.
That's wrong. Something is copyrighted as soon as it is put into "tangible form".

FOR EXAMPLE: one case that is frequently brought up in such discussions is the "smiley face" .
That's an issue of trademark, not copyright.
 
  • #16
phinds
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That's wrong. Something is copyrighted as soon as it is put into "tangible form".



That's an issue of trademark, not copyright.
Fair enough, thanks.
 
  • #17
jtbell
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That's wrong. Something is copyrighted as soon as it is put into "tangible form".
Correct. Registering your copyright with a government agency (in the US, the US Copyright Office) "merely" gives you certain advantages in going after people who have infringed your copyright. See page 7 of the following circular from the Copyright Office:

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf [Broken]

One advantage of registration is that it provides an official record that you are the creator of the work in question. Also, if you sue someone in court for copyright violation, you can collect "statutory damages" in addition to "actual damages" (whatever profits the infringer made from using your work), whereas without registration, you can only collect "actual damages."
 
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