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copyright infringement? Where's he going with this?

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Steve Kownackicopyright infringement? Where's he going with this?
by on Jun 4, 2010 at 1:20:38 pm

Happy Friday all,
Here was the tagline in my email digest "At TEDxNYED, Larry Lessig offers a surprising lens on remix culture: What Democrats can learn about copyright from Republicans."

About Larry "Stanford professor Larry Lessig is one of our foremost authorities on copyright issues, with a vision for reconciling creative freedom with marketplace competition."

I don't quite get the Dem v. Rep reference and I sure don't get where he's going with offering that all media should be fair use. (I was hoping this was going to be a piece on the Reps using unlicensed music, but no.) Am I missing something? I realize many of the current generation seems to have no regard for other people's property and everything should be shared, but somebody had to pay to create the original media. What about licensing the original material? Does he think it's OK to simply give photo credit at the end of his presentation and not get actual permission? Or did he get permission and he failed to mention that part?

http://www.ted.com/talks/lessig_nyed.html?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2010...



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Jeremy DoyleRe: copyright infringement? Where's he going with this?
by on Jun 4, 2010 at 2:33:05 pm

[Steve Kownacki] "Does he think it's OK to simply give photo credit at the end of his presentation and not get actual permission? Or did he get permission and he failed to mention that part? "

His credit at the end was creative commons. When the owners of the photos put them there, they gave permission for them to be used by anyone.

It's much like going to freemusicarchive.com, The artists list the ways their music can be reproduced.

I think there's always going to be a catch 22. On one hand you have the people who just want to get their work out there and get known and they're willing to give it away for free for the recognition. Then once they have some sort of following they want to get paid for it, but they've been giving it away for so long that everyone expects it to be free.

I think it comes down to the same discussion as "how much am I worth?".





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Todd TerryRe: copyright infringement? Where's he going with this?
by on Jun 4, 2010 at 3:40:34 pm

On a slightly different but related note... I've often wondered about the true legality of political spots that use video from their opponent's commercials. It happens all the time.

We just wrapped up a US Congressional campaign that got pretty ugly in the later days. One of the spots I directed is this one....




Within 24 hours, our candidate's opponent had this on the air...






...which used footage from our production. Furthermore, it not only used our footage, but used our paid professional actor's performance. These commercials were both airing tons of times each day... and that particular actor even ended up calling us with the "Hey, is this legal? Do they have to pay me?" questions.

Maybe it's not truly legal... and maybe we could have sought some kind of injunction against its use... but the wheels of justice grind so slowly it would have likely been a moot point since the election was only a couple of days away.

I have to say that I myself have done this too for political spots, usually using an opponent's commercial usually to refute an attack... but I've only used candidate footage, I've never used footage of an actor's performance.

Legal, I dunno...

(btw... I hate dirty politics and I hate mudslinging campaigns, but all of our candidate's allegations were true and provable... none of the opponent's were)


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jeremy DoyleRe: copyright infringement? Where's he going with this?
by on Jun 4, 2010 at 4:10:53 pm

[Todd Terry] "...which used footage from our production. Furthermore, it not only used our footage, but used our paid professional actor's performance. These commercials were both airing tons of times each day... and that particular actor even ended up calling us with the "Hey, is this legal? Do they have to pay me?" questions.

Maybe it's not truly legal... and maybe we could have sought some kind of injunction against its use... but the wheels of justice grind so slowly it would have likely been a moot point since the election was only a couple of days away.

I have to say that I myself have done this too for political spots, usually using an opponent's commercial usually to refute an attack... but I've only used candidate footage, I've never used footage of an actor's performance.

Legal, I dunno... "



I think you should take it to court just so I can find out the answer without incurring any of the costs...
Seriously though, it would be interesting to know.




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Mick HaenslerRe: copyright infringement? Where's he going with this?
by on Jun 7, 2010 at 11:05:32 am

[Todd Terry] "(btw... I hate dirty politics and I hate mudslinging campaigns, but all of our candidate's allegations were true and provable... none of the opponent's were"

You gotta do what's you gotta do to keep the doors open. Me personally, I'd rather clean boat bottoms than work on a political campaign ad.



Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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Nick GriffinRe: copyright infringement? Where's he going with this?
by on Jun 7, 2010 at 2:31:16 pm

[Mick Haensler] "personally, I'd rather clean boat bottoms than work on a political campaign ad."

I've done both. I'd go with Todd's choice. It's easier to hold you nose while editing than it is sanding off the heavy metal-based marine paints.


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Todd TerryRe: copyright infringement? Where's he going with this?
by on Jun 7, 2010 at 2:42:14 pm

[Mick Haensler] "Me personally, I'd rather clean boat bottoms than work on a political campaign ad."

I used to think that way, too. But although political campaigns have their share of headaches, in many ways they are the perfect clients. They are usually jobs that are quick (get em in, get em out, move on to the next thing), they never care one whit about budgets (often don't even ask in advance what something's going to cost... "Just do it"), and they pay fast... often arriving to view an approval cut with a check in hand (election laws require clearing the books fast).

To me the pluses far outweigh the negatives... and amazingly, every now and then you get a candidate you actually believe in. Those campaigns are the fun ones to work on.

The mudslinging can be unpleasant, but fortunately it's not all that way. That spot of ours that I posted ealier I'll admit was pretty nasty (although all true), but not all the campaign was that way. By far most of the ones I directed for that candidate were more like this, which is much more uplifting...





You post, though, does remind me that my boat needs a bottom cleaning. Uuuggh.



T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jason JenkinsRe: copyright infringement? Where's he going with this?
by on Jun 7, 2010 at 5:34:32 pm

Nice work, Todd. I like the lens flare transitions.

[Todd Terry] "I used to think that way, too. But although political campaigns have their share of headaches, in many ways they are the perfect clients. They are usually jobs that are quick (get em in, get em out, move on to the next thing), they never care one whit about budgets (often don't even ask in advance what something's going to cost... "Just do it"), and they pay fast... often arriving to view an approval cut with a check in hand (election laws require clearing the books fast)."

The only ones that ever call me are the ones that have no money "but, might have some later".

[Todd Terry] "Your post, though, does remind me that my boat needs a bottom cleaning. Uuuggh."

Every time I see somebody drive by, pulling a big boat, I think, "Man, I'm glad I don't have a boat!" My parents live on a lake and own a rowboat, canoe and a couple of kayaks. That's more my style.


Jason Jenkins

Flowmotion Media

Video production... with style!


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Todd TerryRe: copyright infringement? Where's he going with this?
by on Jun 7, 2010 at 6:38:04 pm

[Jason Jenkins] "I like the lens flare transitions."

Yeah, thanks to Magic Bullet. Those are the same flares that were used so much in the last Star Trek movie (though we chose to do ours vertical, theirs were horizontal), but Star Trek used them waaaaay too much... way past the point of annoyance.

[Jason Jenkins] "only ones that ever call me are the ones that have no money"

Yikes, those are definitely the ones to avoid... I think the best response to "I might have some money later," is "Well, then call me later."

Money doesn't always talk in politics, though. The spots we did were Democratic primary spots, but on the other side of the fence in the Republican primary of this same race, the incumbent Congressman probably spent the better part of a million dollars on TV advertising... and he was soundly whipped by his opponent who only ran a few $200 cable-produced spots. The incumbent was too universally-hated by the constituency for any amount of money to help him. He even had Democrats jumping the aisle and voting Republican just so they could vote against him.

[Jason Jenkins] "Every time I see somebody drive by, pulling a big boat, I think, "Man, I'm glad I don't have a boat!""

Good policy. They're a hole in the water that you pour money into. I think I'm about to put mine on CraigsList and see if there are any suckers... I never have time to take her out. Ever. She's a Swedish-built 30-foot Shipman28 with sweet lines. Any takers? :) Let me go back and talk to my sales manager... what can I do to put you in this sailboat today?






T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Michael SigmonRe: copyright infringement? Where's he going with this?
by on Aug 2, 2010 at 7:49:13 pm

For those of you (especially younger people in the business) who aren't aware of this... political campaigns generally (almost always) close up shop the day after the election or, at the latest, the end of that week.

The election campaign is a separate organization from the candidate's office (if he or she is an incumbent).

Get paid COD. PERIOD. I don't care if you think the candidate is the second coming of Washington, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and FDR all wrapped up together; if you're not paid COD, you might as well be donating your services.

Most of you are probably aware of this, so pardon me if I'm telling you the obvious. I'm certain that some folks don't know this, though. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of participating in promoting a candidate or issue you really believe in, and forgetting about the business aspect of it.


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Mike CohenRe: copyright infringement? Where's he going with this?
by on Jun 5, 2010 at 5:25:01 pm

I think what he means is:

We should be able to use any type of media for the purpose of commentary or education or for entertainment, ie a mash-up or remix - just as long as we acknowledge the original producer or owner of the work.

That being said, I created a video a couple of years ago, for fun, using google streetview images and music from an open source music site. I got 20,000+ hits. I then found a similar video by another person and found clips of my video in his video, with no attribution. I did not like that, but it was all in good fun.

I also posted some clips on YouTube promoting some video products that we sell. I found clips from two videos in videos from others as well, one of which was used to promote a doctor's practice in India. This I did not like very much at all.

So we have several overlapping issues:

1 - Is it ok to use media owned by others to comment, discuss or educate? What about for entertainment purposes (that is, a mashup or whatever, done for fun, not for monetary gain)? Those using the media believe it is ok. The owners of the media are a mixed bag of "it is ok, it is free advertising, promotion, we like that people like our stuff, etc" and "how dare you steal from me."

2 - Is it ok to use media owned by someone else for your own personal or monetary gain, with or without attribution? I think the answer is obvious.

This being said, any video that appears on YouTube is subject to being associated with an advertisement that makes Google and the advertisers themselves money. Thus, unauthorized use of media can in fact provide monetary gain to someone, likely someone not associated with the actual use of the media.

Sticky situation.

There is an urban legend, possibly true, of a dad who sent a VHS tape of his young daughter's ballet recital to Disney, with Little Mermaid music on the tape. Disney sued the guy. Disney should be happy that kids are having their ballet recitals to their music as opposed to using music from Dreamworks movies! That's worth a lot of advertising dollars.

Mike Cohen





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Mark SuszkoRe: copyright infringement? Where's he going with this?
by on Jun 5, 2010 at 7:39:02 pm

In the case of the political ads, the argument is that excerpting content from political communications in order to discuss or critique them falls under "Fair Use".

A lot of folks think Fair Use is some kind of magic talisman. It is not. Claiming it is the last step after you've already had to go to court, and after a judge or jury finds that the fact is you appropriated the material. You then invoke Fair Use and perhaps in this case 1st amendment rights to excuse you from any fines or damages. And the judge has to buy it.

That said, the stranglehold corporations are putting on the use of imagery or sounds in the common public space is out of hand, and I applaud Lessig's and EFF's work on this. What I want them and the ACLU to go after next is this growing problem that police can tape you from their cars or from surveillance cameras in public, but if you try to tape a cop in a public area, or on your property, the courts are upholding the cop's right to throw you in jail and confiscate your gear. This is completely antithetical to an open society, and there are numerous cases of police abuse, malfeasance, or brutality that only came to light and could be proven due to third party footage.

http://gizmodo.com/5553765/are-cameras-the-new-guns


Read that and try not to go into a rage.


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