All About Video Copyright
As an IT specialist, I understand that video copyright is a concept that can often seem pretty daunting and complex to anyone sharing videos online. There are legalities, rights, permissions, and infringements to consider. Your uploaded content could infringe on someone else’s rights and you could find yourself in the middle of a legal issue. This guide aims to unravel the complexities.
What is Video Copyright?
In simplest terms, video copyright is a legal device that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution. This is meant to protect the value of the effort that goes into creating content, by making it unlawful for others to use or share it without permission.
Benjamin Franklin defined it best: “As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.”
Know the Video Copyright Laws
Understanding video copyright laws is crucial to avoid getting yourself in hot water. Here are the elements you must be aware of:
- The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA): This is the U.S. copyright law that addresses the rights and obligations of owners of copyrighted material who believe their rights under U.S. copyright law have been infringed, particularly on the Internet.
- The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works: An international agreement governing copyright, to which many nations subscribe.
- Codification of Economic Rights: The right to reproduce the works, and to receive remuneration for this reproduction.
How to Avoid Video Copyright Infringement
- Get Permission: The simplest way to avoid copyright infringement is to ensure that you have the necessary permissions for any copyrighted content you use.
- Use Creative Commons Material: Creative Commons is a system that allows you to legally use “some rights reserved” music, movies, images, and other content — all for free.
- Use Public Domain Material: Works in the public domain are those whose exclusive intellectual property rights have expired, been forfeited, or are inapplicable.
Copyrighted Material vs Fair Use
“Fair use” is a doctrine in U.S. law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the owner for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. The key here is “limited.” Judges look at how much of the original work was used, the nature of the original and borrowed work, the potential effect on the original work’s market, and the purpose of the use.
Practice Caution When Sharing Videos Online
If you’re sharing videos online, it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you’re unsure whether a video or piece of content is copyrighted, assume it is. Remember, ignorance of copyright rules won’t protect you from legal implications.
Always respect the rights of the original creators and take the necessary steps to protect yourself from copyright infringement. By doing so, you allow the creative world to remain balanced, ensuring content creators are rewarded for their hard work, and imparting due respect to the inventions of others.