Tag Archives: legal

Copyright of Works

Entertainment, economics and copyright go hand in hand in the form of music, films, song writing, music videos, TV shows, photographs and web shows.  The profit must cover the costs of production otherwise the company or individual will loose.  Pirating films and music is wrong in every sense, yet its done every day.  The lost money from entertainment media was a major problem; that many of the big studios took on the Napsters of the world.  Is winning in court the way, or can there be other ways to protect copyright works and keep the public happy?

Some ideas are:

  • Dropping the price of the finished product
  • Legal download through companies like iTunes
  • Subscriptions to the studio’s multimedia library with limited copyrights to other professionals who would like to use the work
  • A Internet company cooperating with studios, record companies and others who hold copyrights to entertainment media legally renting copyright works to individuals and companies

How does all this affect the Public Relations person following the Public Relations Society of America Code of Ethics?  Using material with unknown copyright source can cause grief to the individual, company or organization.  Lets be frank about copyright, the creator of the work deserves the money and credit unless it is 100% sure the work is before 1923, the year the work is now public domain.   The U.S. Copyright has wonderful information online to help people with copyright problems.

Some people have used Flickr photos under the Creative Commons license.  Started and located at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society.  This idea is unique to licensing copyright content.  There are no royalties, the creator is asked to place their works into the public domain under Commons Deed, Legal Code, or Digital Code, and to place the work(s) in the public domain after 14 years, as established by U.S.  First Congress in 1790.  This concept was a great idea in early 2000’s.  Now it is a different story.

Getty images is now very aggressive in sending letters out to people who assumed the Creative Commons was safe free alternative to paying for stock photos.  This has started a new wave of what is a safe copyright photo.  If a court case starts, many people will follow it, as the decision will decide the future of free stock photos and copyright law.

In the meantime, an idea is to hire a professional to do the work.  In the agreement or contract, pay the extra money so the company or organization owns all the copyright(s) to the work, yet allowing the professional to use the work in a portfolio.  As part of the agreement always give full credit to the professional, so others know who really did the work.