ændrew.com v8

Media Law -- Copyright Law

March 26, 2012

For exam

  • 30 multi-choice questions;
  • Know the names and intent of provisions; know case names.

Important cases

  • Flood v. Times Newspapers Ltd. (2011) — Supreme Court

    • Upholds and restates the Reynolds Defence.
    • Article allegations that a British security company with wealthy Russian clients paid for sensitive information about extraditions
    • Subject to a libel complaint from police officer named. Flood was exonerated, so was pressing for libel.
    • Judges came down on side of the Times; argued it was in the public interest for story to be published.
    • “Story told was high public interest” — argued if Flood were not named, other members of the extradition unit would come under public scrutiny.

Copyright Law

  • Purpose

    • Designed to ensure those who create copyright works — photographs, film footage, books, etc. — are rewarded for their labours.
    • Incentivizes creative work.
  • Tangible form

    • No copyright in ideas — has to be created before it gets copyright.
    • No copyright in facts
    • Hughie Green v. NZ Broadcasting (1989) — elements of original programming in a knockoff in New Zealand. “Nobody owns the rights to a talent contest.”
    • Norowozian v. Arks (1999) — A Guinness advert using a technique (“jump cutting”) and dance style was similar to that used in the plaintiff’s film. Court ruled nobody owns a dance style or film technique.
  • Physical ownership v copyright

    • Approached as a property right (Specifically intellectual property)
    • If you receive a letter, copyright rests with the letter writer — not the receiver.
  • Copyrights in a news report
  • No need for a registration

    • You don’t have to register work to have a copyright on something. No “copyright register”. Work automatically gains protection, even without the ©
  • Breach — substantial use

    • “What is worth copying is worth protecting” — principle

Who owns it?

  • Author — if you’re independent, then you own the copyright.
  • Employees — if you’re employed by someone, then it’s your employer who owns the copyright.
  • Freelancers — you generally own the copyright; newspapers now generally have a provision allowing reproduction of a piece bought from a freelancer online, etc.

    • Robin Ray v. Classic FM (1998) — asked to create an internal system for classifying music work. Radio station then tried to sell system to others; court ruled Classic FM wasn’t allowed to sell Ray’s work without permission.
  • Assignment — Who owns the copyright?
  • License — What is the breadth of the license? Single use, only on TV, on the Internet, both? For a time length or Into perpetuity? Where is this usage allowed?

Length of copyright

  • Creative works: 70 years from end of year author died
  • If author unknown, 70 years from end of year of publication
  • Sound recordings / broadcast: 50 years from end of year of first publication

    • If it involves, say, a song with lyrics, the lyrics will be copyrighted as per the above (I.e., 70 years).

Legal events

  • §30 CopyrighT Designs and Patents Act 1988

    • “Fair dealing” provision places reporting current events about the interest of a copyright owner.
    • “Fair dealing with a work other than a photograph for the purpose of reporting events does not infringe any copyright in the work, so long as it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgment.”
  • What is fair?

    • Simply lifting content isn’t fair; not giving a credit isn’t fair.
    • Using material as wallpaper isn’t fair.
    • Time Warner Co V. Channel Four Television (1994)

      • Over 80% of Clockwork Orange was shown in a programme on Channel 4; court ruled in favour of Channel 4 despite lack of permission.
    • Pro Seiben v. Carlton UK TV (1999)

      • Carlton UK TV was doing programme on chequebook journalism and used clip from Pro Seiben exclusive; ruled on side of Carlton.
  • Exclusivity

    • Less likely to be fair is just used to “yank rug out” from under a competitor.
  • Motive
  • Informational
  • Restrictions
  • Credit
  • Does not apply to stills.
  • Fair dealing for criticism, review
  • Public interest defence?

    • Paddy Ashdown v. Telegraph — Telegraph had published snippet from plaintiff’s unpublished autobiography; court ruled there was a public interest due to it soon coming out.
  • Damages — market rate/aggravated

    • Paid in terms of market rate; more in aggravated circumstances (photo stolen)
  • Release forms — important; allows you to use their footage forevermore.
  • Sports footage — if showing footage, normally able to use 60 seconds with credit. If a series of matches (I.e., World Cup or something), increases to 90 seconds.
  • Internet — copyright applies as much as anywhere else. If using someone else’s photo, you have to seek permission.
  • § 58 Copyright and Design Act

    • If someone giving a speech, you’re generally allowed to report it without permission.

Ændrew Rininsland
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