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View Full Version : OT Strange request and copy righting



jeremy13
09-14-2010, 11:09 PM
We got a request to day from a company that does sound affixes and game graphics. Apparently this company uses explosives to blow up stuff and record the sound and video. Then sell to game manufactures and sound affixes studios. They want to replace the high explosives with our binary. And want some demo footage of the binary on cars to compare it to the TNT. So we don't want them using the footage we take and reselling it. How do you get a copy right. Just saying it is copy righted really work?

Carld
09-14-2010, 11:57 PM
If you do something or record something that is your own and don't put it where someone can see it or publish it how could they ever get it to use?

It's my understanding that when you put something of your own work out for the public to see it is automatically copyrighted and they have to ask permission to use it.

On the other hand, you have to find them using it and then prosecute them over it.

You need to contact a lawyer.

Mcgyver
09-15-2010, 12:16 AM
You need to contact a lawyer.

if it really matters, i agree with Carl. beyond that, here's more BB legal advice :) copyrights happen automatically upon creation; its trademarks that need to registered. The trick with a copyright is proving who created it first - proving that as of such and such a date it existed. The old trick was to mail it to yourself. Don't open it unless in the company of a judge or officer of the court who can swear an affidavit. It sitting in a sealed envelope with your government's date stamped postal mark is proof that it existed at that time establishing a dateline on its creation

Evan
09-15-2010, 12:36 AM
Copyright exists automatically when a work is created. There is no issue of who created it first. You make it and you own it. It doesn't have to be registered or even identified as under copyright. If someone else uses it you can issue a cease and desist order and you don't need a lawyer either. If they continue to use it they are in violation and are subject to penalties for every day they use it. They can't use pieces of it either or use it in a compilation or alter it a bit and use it. Copyright law in the US is extremely one sided in favor of the content creators. The RIAA, MPAA and Disney Studios made sure of that.

If you Label it as copyright and register it (cheap and easy, no lawyer required) then if they use it you don't have to tell them to stop and you can sue them back to the first day they violated your rights.

The envelope trick is supposed to be for patents and it has no validity. The clock on patents starts ticking when you first disclose it, not when you invent it.

BillDaCatt
09-15-2010, 12:41 AM
While I am not a lawyer, I have a close family member who is. What she would tell you is that if you are unsure about how to protect yourself in matters like this you should either speak to a copyright lawyer or tell the other party "No".

The initial consultation for most attorney's is free so it doesn't hurt to ask them a few questions. However if you guys regularly use explosives I'd guess that you already have one or two lawyers on retainer. Ask them how you should proceed. :)

For some basic info check out these two articles on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_recordings
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

Evan
09-15-2010, 12:44 AM
He doesn't need a lawyer to hold a copyright. There is absolutely nothing that you have to do to for it to exist except create an original work. A lawyer is a good idea if you sue to enforce it. The Copyright Office has a lot of good advice and will help you no charge if you have questions. It is their mandate under Presidential Order to help.

BillDaCatt
09-15-2010, 01:21 AM
He doesn't need a lawyer to hold a copyright. There is absolutely nothing that you have to do to for it to exist except create an original work. A lawyer is a good idea if you sue to enforce it. The Copyright Office has a lot of good advice and will help you no charge if you have questions. It is their mandate under Presidential Order to help.


Evan,
I never intended to imply that you were wrong. (sorry if you thought that's what I was saying) In fact, I think you are absolutely right.

My advice to speak to a lawyer was merely for peace of mind because, quite frankly, relying on the advice one finds on a bulletin board holds no legal weight. And if the company in question is a corporation, speaking to a lawyer about this really is good advice.

edit: I just found the web page where you can register original works with the U.S. Copyright office: http://www.copyright.gov/eco/

Evan
09-15-2010, 02:06 AM
I didn't think that. It's just that copyright is dead simple. It's something that was a very big part of my training when I worked for Xerox, as you might expect. Copyright issues are something that the customers often questioned me about.

If you look around the Patent and Copyright office site you will find a lot of good information about the topic.

Carld
09-15-2010, 04:29 PM
Honest people won't steal your own works. The crooks will and that is when it gets expensive to prosecute them and stop them.

Evan
09-15-2010, 04:44 PM
Honest people usually don't know what the law is regarding copyright as is evidenced by this thread. If somebody uses your work without permission they may never even give it a thought as to the legality or the possible financial implications it may have to the owner of the material.

In most such cases a simple letter explaining that the work is under copyright and asking that they either stop using it or seek your permission is all it takes to enforce copyright in the USA and Canada. In other countries that are Berne Convention signatories it is even simpler because most countries do not have any "fair use" provisions or they are very restricted at best.

fredwillis
09-15-2010, 04:57 PM
You sure dont need a lawyer, you are not going to get rich selling boom pow noises to video game makers.
Just this week Animal planet wants some of my videos but sent me a release form saying they will pay me $0.00 for my content. They contacted me after seeing one of my youtube videos, I did not contect them first.
My woman and I talked and we dont care $0.00 paid is fine if we get to see our videos played on TV, its about our Animals and not our wallet.

I would give them the sound files and ask to be listed in the credits at most.

The best way you can prove you own a file is to keep the raw file and never release it, just a compressed or lower quality file as a sample for them.
lets say you tape a UFO and load it to youtube, It will be compressed from there if the media wants the raw file then you have them by the short hairs. make them pay for the raw file.



Just saying it is copy righted really work?
Yes you tell them you made the file with your stuff at your place and thats it.

Weston Bye
09-15-2010, 08:51 PM
My daughter placed a photo on her Flickr page. It was one of her that I took of her as a toddler, in the high chair with her face smeared with chocolate pudding. A company approached her about using it on the label for some cookies, no compensation. She asked me, and I said OK, but that I wanted to reserve the right to use the image for other purposes as I saw fit. Never heard from them again...

Evan
09-15-2010, 09:03 PM
It isn't likely that the purpose given was the truth. Ad agencies don't work that way and companies don't usually design their own labels. It is much cheaper to contract a design than to hire a graphic artist.

The most likely agenda is somebody trying to build a "Micro Stock Photo" database for free. They sell your pictures multiple times and you get nothing.

jeremy13
09-15-2010, 10:27 PM
Ok it is that simple to copyright something. I guess no one has found a way to make money on the deal yet. I talked with a friend of mine actually the one that will do the editing of the video and he said he could put a water mark on the footage. That will work for me thanks for the help guys. Hears a camera phone pic of one pound on the center column just above the door handles.
http://i55.tinypic.com/307rpn5.jpg

TGTool
09-15-2010, 10:48 PM
Well, I've got a good deal of respect for the auto engineers. It certainly opened the car up but the post is intact enough to still support the roof. Nice to know you've got that structure if you ever really need it.

whitis
09-16-2010, 01:29 AM
Copyright exists automatically when a work is created. There is no issue of who created it first.

But if they publish it first, there can be an issue proving you were the original creator and therefore copyright holder. It isn't an issue of who was first but who created the original. What is to stop someone from taking a snippet of the recordings this other company publishes and claiming they made the original recording? One needs some sort of documentation, publication, or forensic evidence to back up the claim. If they publish a 20 second clip of a 30 second recording, your possession of the 10 seconds of the recording not on theirs may be sufficient. If you can, provide them with excerpts of the full recording, even if all you trim off is a few seconds of ambient noise. Likewise when you make your recordings in the future, while the tape is running speak out loud so your voice or the image of you is on the tape: "[ambient noise] Explosion #472 [sound of clapper board] [ambient noise] [boom] [ambient noise]. Otherwise, they blow stuff up and record it and you blow stuff up and record it; how is the court to determine who blew this particular stuff up and recorded it? By law, the rights belong to you and in theory you need take no action to secure those rights but in practice you may need to.

If you don't have the means to prove it, they still don't know you don't have the means to prove it.



The envelope trick is supposed to be for patents and it has no validity. The clock on patents starts ticking when you first disclose it, not when you invent it.

Actually, if you can prove you invented it (or probably even used it) before they patented it, then their patent is unenforcable against you. If you also published it somewhere, then that can be used to invalidate their patent and thus make it unenforceable against others. Prior Use can be a little murky. Prior to 1952 and after 1999, there was/is explicit legal protection for prior users in the united states and in the interim apparently no patent holder prevailed against a prior user (http://www.ipmall.org/hosted_resources/IDEA/36_IDEA/36-3_IDEA_543_Harriel.pdf) though it rarely came before the courts. It is not in the patent holders best interest to litigate against someone who can make a case for prior use since a likely side effect may be to invalidate the patent. Publication is not required to establish prior art though it can be very useful in that regard.

In some cases, unpublished prior use might also count as prior art if it wasn't kept a secret. You posted about your method of molding a delrin nut around a lead screw. That counts as prior art since there was a written publication. Suppose you hadn't. It could still be prior use. And if you had disclosed it to others verbally or by demonstration and one of them used it in a commercial product where someone in possession of that product could ascertain how it was made, then the invention was in public use and not patentable.

And in the US, unlike other countries, first invention not first filing counts.

Rather than mailing something to yourself, get it notarized - though that could be tricky with an audio recording though you could print out hashes of the digital file and have those notarized (and keep an exact copy of what you hashed - different file format with the same recording won't match the hash). Video you could print some stills. For $35, you can upload the file to the copyright office and register it: http://www.copyright.gov/register/

Also, explicit statement of copyright is no longer required in the US but can affect the amount of damages.

Astronowanabe
09-16-2010, 02:42 AM
Invite them to view explosions in person or
to come and view the recordings on your equipment.

used to work just fine

dfw5914
09-16-2010, 03:00 AM
...
And in the US, unlike other countries, first invention not first filing counts.
...

I'm pretty sure that has changed here recently (whithin the past few years), I think the US is also a "First to File" country now.

Evan
09-16-2010, 04:20 AM
It isn't an issue of who was first but who created the original. What is to stop someone from taking a snippet of the recordings this other company publishes and claiming they made the original recording? One needs some sort of documentation, publication, or forensic evidence to back up the claim.

It is very simple to determine if a recording is an original or a copy. This applies to all digital formats except for lossless compression and uncompressed formats. Such formats are rarely distributed and most consumer and even prosumer equipment will not record in such video formats because of the tremendous file sizes produced.

This is an area in which I have considerable expertise Whitis. This expertise was gained occupationally through many hours of training at one of the foremost centres operated by private enterprise, The Xerox International Center for Training and Management Development. Reprographics was my job for 23 years.

Below are two versions of the same image. Even in the original forms on my digital 24" monitor they appear identical. Even if enlarged by 200% no apparent difference exists. However, one is the original from a high quality digital camera and the other is a copy saved using a low value of Joint Picture Experts Group compression (JPEG).

The image on the right is the original, the left the copy. Above each image is a histogram of the blue channel only. The left histogram shows the quantization noise that is produced by the compression process. It is particularly apparent at the left end of the waveform because the compression algorithm preferentially removes information in the shadows since it isn't apparent to the eye. The analysis is trivial. It immediately and unequivocally proves which image is the copy and which is the original.

Sorry about the file size but further compression would destroy the subjective appearance that illustrates the point.

http://ixian.ca/pics7/comp1.jpg

Evan
09-16-2010, 04:22 AM
I'm pretty sure that has changed here recently (whithin the past few years), I think the US is also a "First to File" country now.


The US is first to disclose.