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Posts Tagged ‘copyright’

Read the study – Watch the videos

Posted by Miranda on January 4, 2008

Read the entire study Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video, (a PDF download) and watch the videos.

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I want to be legal but I can’t afford it

Posted by Miranda on January 4, 2008

The Center for Social Media has come out with a report that claims that the zeal of copyright holders to protect their content is threatening the concept of user generated content. I was reading about this yesterday, and it came up again this morning here.

The study, which examined thousands of online videos across 75 sites, offers general guidelines for what constitutes “fair use” of copyrighted material: parody, negative and positive commentary, discussion-triggers, illustration, diaries, archiving, and pastiche or collage (remixes and mashups). The study’s authors, American University professors Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, take care to say that merely claiming one of theses categories does not automatically indemnify users. The animating principle behind these practices is whether or not the material taken is somehow “transformative,” the authors say, meaning that the work must add some new value to what they take and use it for a purpose different from the original work.

Larry Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law has a wonderful video presentation on the issue:
How Creativity is Being Strangled by the Law

I think what’s important to me about this is that fair use should, I believe, include provisions for using content whether it be music, video or still images and making something new with it. But I do think that simply using it as is, taking a song and using it as a soundtrack for instance falls into a different category.


Because I had a great idea for a video about shoes (the school where I work, as it is somewhat pricey, has a student body with some of the greatest shoes ever, I mean they are to die for) anyway I had a great idea for a video about shoes and I contacted Ricall Music Licensing about getting a sync license for Paolo Nutini’s New Shoes to use as a soundtrack for it, it’d be perfect.
I got a quote of $5000. Five thousand dollars!

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Music distribution – Six models

Posted by Miranda on December 30, 2007

David Byrne has a very interesting article at Wired: David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars.
The main thrust of the article is that where in the fairly recent past there was one distribution model, the record label bankrolls everything and the artist gives up a lot of control, now there are six. He does a good job of enumerating and discussing the merits of each.
Of particular interest to me, copyright’s obnoxious Ms. Manners at school, is

I would personally advise artists to hold on to their publishing rights (well, as much of them as they can). Publishing royalties are how you get paid if someone covers, samples, or licenses your song for a movie or commercial. This, for a songwriter, is your pension plan.

as well as a few more along those lines

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Music, Video and Copyright

Posted by Miranda on December 19, 2007

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about copyright lately, in the context of video production, and it struck me that maybe a lot of other people are doing the same thing.
I break the law all the time. For instance the stretch of road between my house and Norwich, Vt is ten miles of pine trees. The speed limit is 40 MPH. I think 40 miles per hour in that stretch is stupid, really. But if a cop pulls me over for going 50 which the limit really ought to be, I’m not going to tell him I think the law is stupid and I shouldn’t have to obey it.

Similarly, I may think that copyright law is stupid when it comes to me using someone’s recorded music for my video (although actually I see a lot of sense in it) but I am bound to obey it, especially in a school setting where what I do may influence the students there.

A lot of copyright law seems to be sort of ambiguous when it comes to the Web, but there’s one thing that I have found is not ambiguous at all and that is that it is illegal to use someone’s music in your video unless you have a license to do that.

These are the resources I used to come to that conclusion:

Can I Use Someone Else’s Work? Can Someone Else Use Mine?

Videomaker eNewsletter January 1999
Shoot with Caution: Video, the Law and You

What music can I use in my video? Revver. Com (this one is interesting to me because they vet all videos before upload and will refuse to show your video with copyrighted material in it. Yet they are quite popular)

Bound by Law: Tales from the Public Domain

ASCAP Internet Licensing FAQs

BMI Statement on Internet Licensing

DesignFirms – February 2005
How to use music legally in your work: Frequently Asked Questions

Copyright for Video Producers

Urban Myths Category:
“I’ve heard that you can use any piece of music in your film as long as it is under 30 seconds. Is this true?”

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Video and Copyright

Posted by Miranda on December 16, 2007

We launched a new service at school this fall, a media sharing server. My priorities when we began talking about it last year were

1. To have a video sharing site inside our network that would not tie up our bandwidth to the outside
2. To have the site be student-run

I had noticed that students in our video editing class invariably uploaded their finished works to YouTube (and why not?). I wanted all that stuff to end up inside the network and not have it clogging our pipe to the outside. I also wanted the site to be student run so that students could learn by wrestling with policy. One thing that concerned me in the video editing class was that there was no discussion about copyright as it applied to music being used as soundtracks for the video.

It was set up as an “Activity” somewhat like an afternoon sport.

I will not even go into the agonies that I went through setting up the server although they were considerable. The script I bought: Social Media by EntertainmentScripts runs on Linux. Not only did I know nothing about Linux, the script requires a lot of add-ons to Linux which proved to be not at all easy to configure.
But anyway. The kids who signed up for the activity had a lot of discussions about copyright and drafted a long terms of service which they boiled down to one paragraph which appears right before a user hits the Browse button to find the video file to upload. It goes like this:

It doesn’t matter:
*how long or short the clip/audio/image is
*where you got it from
*whether you are giving credit
*whether other people do it
*if you are not selling it to make money/gain fame
*whether it contains a copyright notice
It is still copyrighted. You need the copywriter’s permission to use it.
Please read our full terms of service.

I then added this:
Be sure to check out our links to copyright-free material.

And we have two pages of links to copyright free audio and video. One student video, made the year before, had been shown in All School Meeting and everyone had loved it. The administration wanted that to be the first video uploaded. The only problem was, it used a song by Johnny Clegg and Savuka as the soundtrack. I posted on Johnny Clegg’s web site on his Scatterlings blog asking permission to upload the video. Lo and behold, a week later Mr. Clegg posted back, giving permission and asking for a copy on DVD, which I sent off to South Africa, along with a fan letter from the student. (And by the way if you’ve never heard Johnny Clegg’s music with either of his two groups, Juluka or Savuka, you are missing some of the best music in the world, I am a rabid fan)

So far, so good. But teachers are now posting video, mostly of sports events, with soundtracks. And those soundtracks are copyrighted material. One teacher admitted to me he had never read our little paragraph.

What are our students learning from this?

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