Tag Archives: Rights

Understand your Rights with Copyright Infringement


Understand your Rights with Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement  is when a person reproduce, publically display and distribute someone else work without permission from the owner.  Bottom line, when you take something that doesn’t belong to you simply put, it’s stealing! That’s how you know that you’ve broken the copyright law.   Most people don’t realize that they are breaking the law everyday just by downloading & uploading music, movies, sharing photos, video clips, copying, ripping and burning CD’s & DVD’s.   Some have questioned whether it’s considered copyright infringement if not done for a profit.   


Think you’re saving money? Think again, copyright Infringement cost a whole lot more. (c) 2013 Photo by D. Garvin

How do you know when you’re breaking the law?

The copyright infringement law is so complex, that it can make it hard not to infringe on some people’s legal rights. Being new to blogging or simply a part of the social networking community makes it difficult for the average person to realize that they’re breaking the law because it seems everyone’s online doing it. Here are a few tips to avoid copyright infringement on social media.

If you don’t know what the law entails before you break it, then you will quickly learn it once they slap that lawsuit on you. Take casual blogger Roni Loren, she tells her story on her blog site about being new to blogging and being sued for copyright infringement.  She had a photo on her page that was not attributed and according to Loren, she didn’t know the rules and did what most people she saw do.  She assumed that under the Fair Use standard, that it was OK not attribute.  She didn’t know and unfortunately learned the hard way.

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Breaking the law comes with a price

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Photos by D. Garvin (c) 2013

According to eonline, the children of the late musician David Pryor recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Kanye West for millions, after sampling their father’s song (Gold Digger) without getting consent.  Pryor passed in 2006, but his children Trena and Lorenzo ascertained that their father’s work has been sampled numerous times and by various artists.  However, they made it clear to all record companies involved that if they don’t stop exploiting their dad’s song (BusStop) without requesting permission, will be next in line for a lawsuit.


Former Film Student Pattie Clark was director on a class film that was to be shot for their final project, but to her surprise several months down the line, found out that part of their story had been copied, re-shot, and uploaded to YouTube, with the exact same storyline and Title.  Because the script was never copyrighted and protected, all rights were lost.  “Now that’s a lesson well learned on copyrighting. Wish I knew to do it sooner.”  Chuckling, Clark says “Take it from me, even if you’re still in school protect your work and get it copyrighted.” “Don’t let all of your hard work get snatch right out from under you.”

According to PCMag, in August 2012, Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that linking & embedding video is not considered copyright infringement. Posner explains in great length how linking and embedding works and they that watch the videos are not violating copyright infringement law, nor are they who are embedding & linking violating the law.  However, they who are uploading copyright infringing videos are in violation.

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Embedding & Linking is no longer considered copyright infringement (c) 2013 Photo by D. Garvin







Release Forms, Photos & Videos for Any Occasion: Know When to Protect Yourself

Everyone Loves Taking Photos & Videos for Just About Any Occasion:  How Do You Know When You’ve Crossed the Line of Hobby to Offender of the Law

Know How to Protect Yourself

In today’s world, people will whip out a camera, cellphone and even the tablet to capture the moment on video and photograph for just about any reason.  Whether it’s for work as a photographer, filmmaker, Journalism, or for just plain ole fun, once it’s upload to YouTube and/or your social networking page and any other public site; shooter beware!  It’s not like the times of old when things were much simpler and internet was not hugely popular.  Although there were always laws in place to protect people’s privacy or legal rights to prevent unlawful display of a person’s image in the professional world, those of you who do it for fun today take heed, the same rules may apply to you once you decide to cross the line of fun and into the realm of use for commercial and profit.

In film production, to protect yourself legally you should began researching and preparing all of the necessary waiver/release forms to collect any signature connected to your production.  Particularly for each identifiable actor and/or product such as logos and photos that you plan to have publicized that belongs to another.  There are a variety of release forms for a variety of situations such as location, property, talent, private events, interviews, underage children and more that involves commercial purposes.  If you’re a film student the rules still apply because you can also be sued for displaying work online, that’s why you should always protect yourself by getting release signed up front


Chris Donati Reviews a Release Form and Contract Before Signing. (c) 2013 Photo by D. Garvin

For instance, former film student Anthony Barr explains his issues with an actor after shooting his student film.  According to Barr, after the short film was shot the actor was disappointed in the way he was edited in the film and thought that film was not good enough to be published online and that no one would take him seriously after seeing the finished product.

Barr explains all of the hard work that went into it and disagreed.  After having several back and forth conversations about it, Barr felt that it was good and ignored his request because everyone else was satisfied and he decided to upload it anyway.

When the actor/friend found out that the movie went up, he called the school to complain and insisted that it be taken down.  Barr stated, he never thought it was that serious until the media department explained that the actor was in the right, he never signed a release form.  Barr says “it’s my own fault, I learned the hard way to always get a release form signed no matter who it is, especially friends.”  I’ll never let my guards down again!

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Donati Grabs pen in agreement to sign contract

A release form is like a contract, which is a written agreement between two parties for the purpose of protecting yourself from any future lawsuits that may include, claiming invasion of privacy or perhaps for money or profit.   However, laws differ depending on the jurisdiction and the state you live in when it pertains to the use of an individual’s image.

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The Release Form is Signed

Understanding the law and the business side of online marketing, will save you money, time and protect you from a whole lot of future legal woes down the line.