Sunday, July 29, 2012

Protect Yourself - Make A Resource Binder

There is a good post by Roni Loren on BlogHer about the dangers of using copyrighted materials. Ignorance is no excuse under the law. Roni's post is about photography in blogs but it applied to video folks as well. 

It isn’t even that you intentionally did something wrong. With the new software algorithms that are now being used by YouTube and other video web hosting sites, you might be flagged as having music that appears in multiple videos.

Being able to quickly prove that you have the right to use the music or video in question can help to get your video restored a bit faster. If you use another person’s work without their permission you can be in lawyer involved trouble. 

For this post, I wanted to find a public domain image of a binder. What appears is royalty free stock photos and trademarked images that require permission. I can’t use a photo of the cover if there is a design element on it.

It is trademarked protected. Think of the Nike Swish which cannot be used without permission of Nike. Same concept.


Example of A Terms of Service page at Texture King

One way to avoid those problems is to make sure you can document where you obtained the photo, video or music used in your project.

What You Will Need
It doesn’t matter if it is an old school 3 ring notebook or a file on your system. You will want to have some method of demonstrating where you obtained the content and the Terms of Service (TOS).

Here is what you need:

A copy of the web page where you obtained the content with the date you accessed it.
A copy of the site's Terms of Service page that specifically gives you permission to use the material for
  • Attribution
  • Creative Commons Attribution
  • Non-Commercial Use
  • Commercial Use
  • Public Domain
A note page where you list all of the sources of content that appear in your video. 

If your can't find the TOS or license of the content I would not download or use that material. Be aware that there are users that steal other people's content, modify it and claim public domain. It doesn't work that way.

I also would be cautious of sites that have URL/web addresses that have public domain music or public domain photo multiple times in different domains. There could be skeezy activities in that neck of the Internet.

Protect Yourself

If you are creating business videos you have to do this. It might be far safer for business vloggers to purchased content at quality royalty-free sites.

If you are doing news/documentary you have to be aware of your surroundings and what is being heard in the background.

Demo and resource vloggers also need to be conscious of materials used but you might have more of a Fair Use leeway if you are reviewing or evaluating a product or service. 

Goofing around with the camcorder and you make your own music, you are free to do as you please.

If you are unclear about Copyright, Creative Commons, Fair Use and Public Domain you are putting yourself at risk. I wish it were easier. We in the U.S. have had corporations influence and muck up the traditional terms of copyright.

Until things are sorted out we have to abide by the current rules.

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