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Thread: Copyright law

  1. #1

    Default Copyright law

    Ok, I was just wondering about copyright laws about uploading my own films.
    All of the footage in my films are completely filmed and edited by me. The only thing is, is it against the law to put a song in the background of the film that is not made by me? Is that against copyright laws? Even if the song goes along with the video?
    Please let me know what you think and why. Thank you

  2. #2
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    The fact is, you'll only be totally clear of prosecution if you use also music composed and performed by yourself.

    Now, real life.

    Everyone does it, (even me!) and the chances of being 'had' is about one in a billion just because so many people do it. BUT the chance is there, and it could come back to bite you in the ass. If you are selling the work you stand far more chance of being singled out, but again, the chances of being caught are slim.

    Having said all that, recently I encountered a situation where two images I had used in a video were spotted by the copyright owner and all hell broke loose. Fortunatley for me I had contracts signed and am in the clear. The copyright owner started negotiations at 2,000 for unlawful use.

  3. Default

    Can we hear more about your story?

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenlight View Post
    Can we hear more about your story?
    Sorry, no. Just trust me, I know how sensitive some people can be about their rights.

  5. #5

    Default

    ok thanks for the info
    i dont think i will put any of my movies up on the internet anymore that have someone elses music in it

  6. Default

    How much of a problem is it? Can they even find you if you post anonymously?

  7. #7

    Default

    ok, and I have one more question. I know there is some law about you being able to put 30 seconds of someones song in something, that is why iTunes and all of those legal music downloads have 30 second previews. Are you allowed to put 30 seconds of a song in your movie?

  8. #8
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    Don't forget that different countries have slightly different copyright laws!

    The truth in the UK is that copyright is absolute - if you could identify any part of any published music that was composed/originated by someone else, they could have a case against you. In real life of course, it doesn't happen because most of us are not important or threatening enough. However, if you threatened my (or someone elses) business and livlihood by illegal use or copying, I (or they) might decide to have a go at you. If I thought you'd made money by your illegal use or copying, I'd want it . . .

    But always bear in mind that most of our uses are really insignificant.
    I try to make someone happy every day - but it may not be your turn today . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by FryMaster8 View Post
    ....I know there is some law about.....

    Thats the problem here.... everyone knows about this law or that law. In truth, alot of so called 'knowledge' is just old wives tales. Take NOTHING for granted.

    Having said that, Chris G is quite correct in saying that most infringements come to nothing. I mean, do Sony BMG really have the time to chase you because you used one of their tracks on a video? Of course not. But that doesn't mean it's either correct, legal or without risk to do so.

    FYI the situation I encountered was the use of some pictures taken in 1959 and used in a theatrical presentation. So, 40 plus years after they were taken, someone spotted them and reported them. Not prepared to say more than that at this stage.

  10. #10
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    Copyright infringement is a bit like speeding.

    It is illegal. If you get caught, you will be fined. Although the chances of getting caught and prosecuted are very low.

    Having said that, a company I occasionally filmed for was forced into liquidation for using a short video exerpt at a trade show. The "artistic director" didn't think that it would matter at such a small event and took a small chunk (12 or 14 seconds) from a Star Wars film in a three minute advertising loop.
    The converstation I had with him, when he was planning the video, went exactly as follows.

    Me:"So, how much will you have to pay for the Star Wars scene?"
    AD: "Oh, I can't be bothered, it's only for (Trade Show) nobody'll complain."

    He eventually had to go bankrupt because the producer laid eveything responsibility-wise on his shoulders.

    I've also reported material of mine which I saw used in a production which hadn't cleared it with me. I didn't even bother sending them a bill, just reported it directly to FACT who sued them on my behalf. Oh yeah, and last year's holiday was paid for by a company who used some of my missus' images without clearing it with her first.

    It is a risky business!

    Edit: Beware these urban myths about "30 seconds" or suchlike.
    Listen to what ChrisG and TurnMedia are saying and don't take any notice to "Saloon Bar Lawyers" or, even worse, Internet Forum Legal "experts" who tell you that "It's okay to use it if (insert daft provisor here)" or internet myths that it's okay if "it's for amateur use".
    ALL copyright infringement (especially in the UK) is illegal.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 04-12-2007 at 04:14 PM.

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