Copyright is a form of protection for creative content, whether that content be in the form of video, photo, music, writing, or other mediums. As soon as something is created, it’s protected from being stolen or otherwise used without the creator’s permission. Whether you’re creating your own content or need to borrow content from other sources, copyright is the legal code you need to understand and abide.
COPYRIGHT OR PUBLIC DOMAIN
REQUESTING PERMISSION FOR COPYRIGHTED CONTENT
The next step is to negotiate with the owner for use of their material. This is a process that can take months to complete. To protect your legal interests, make sure you get the agreement in writing. Once you have a signed agreement and have paid the owner, if applicable based on agreed-upon terms, you will then be able to use the copyrighted content.
UNDERSTANDING FAIR USE
- The nature of the work – Is the work you’re using factual or benefiting the public? You tend to have more leeway with factual works than fictional (i.e. plays or movies).
- The amount of use – This has little to do with the set amounts (i.e. the misconception that using less than 30 seconds of a song is okay.) Rather, how much of the “heart,” or important part of the work are you using?
- The effect of use – Will your use of the work harm the market value of the original work?
- The purpose of use – Have you transformed or just copied the original work?
ROYALTY OR ROYALTY-FREE CONTENT
If this situation sounds familiar, you may have also noticed that there are different types and descriptions of these licenses. There may be music (or image) files available for reuse, for non-commercial reuse, and for non-commercial reuse with modification. While looking for that perfect piece, keep in mind that royalty-free isn’t always free, and it definitely doesn’t mean copyright-free. You may have to pay a single licensing fee for unlimited use of the content, as opposed to a royalty fee paid for each use of the content in your videos, on your site, or on your social media pages. Be sure to read closely to make sure you are using the works you find correctly and legally or be sure to include “royalty-free” in your next search.
PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS
These aspects as well as many others that weren’t mentioned in this blog can help protect your business and make sure your brand has the best reputation that it can get.
When you’re ready to put one or more of these tactics to work for your business, we can help. Visit our offices page for a media consultant near you.