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Category: Website - About BetterPhoto.com : Free Photo Contest

Photography Question 
Ulysses A. Villamin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/29/2008
 

Legalities


 
 
Hope everyone's A-ok. I uploaded a photo entitled "Brotherhood of Man" which is supposed to be my entry on this months monthly theme (Brotherhood). The problem is I don't know if I will be legally liable for doing so. I was watching the movie "Across the Universe" when I saw a nice frame of the cast lying on circles. I took my camera and literally took a screen shot of that frame. Then I put it in photoshop and started to play with some fx. I ended up with an interesting picture (at least for me) that I feel will be nice for this month's theme. Now, am I facing any legal liabilities if I enter this one? I will appreciate any 'legal' advice :) Thanks in advance. UV


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6/12/2008 10:01:51 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  This is not a good place to be seeking legal advice regarding a specific situation since you can't rely on it as a defense at trial.

Generally, however (and I mean VERY generally), somewhere in that movie you copied the frame from, you'll probably see a notice that the film is copyrighted under the laws of the U.S. and other applicable international laws as well. If so, and you use even a single frame without consent of the copyright holders, then you've violated their copyright and can be subjected to a heavy fine, attorney fees, court costs, interest and other penalties. You can also get the contest promoters at BP jammed up with this as well. Read and heed the contest entry rules concerning what YOU warranty regarding copyrighted materials.

For what it's worth, I suggest that you run this past a lawyer in your geographic area who specializes in intellectual property law and buy their opinion.

OTOH, I strongly recommend that you pull that image, destroy the copies you've made, go forth and sin no more.
M.


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6/12/2008 10:11:16 AM

 
Ulysses A. Villamin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/29/2008
  Thanks, Mark :)


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6/12/2008 10:13:28 AM

 
Michael Skelton  . 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/16/2006
  I believe movie film ,just like any media is protected by copyrights. Here is one of many links for motion picture copyrights.

http://www.mplc.org/


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6/12/2008 10:37:08 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Even on a no-brainer, Mark never forgets the disclaimer.
Well done.


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6/12/2008 11:27:24 AM

 
David Van Camp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/27/2008
  ... " destroy the copies you've made, go forth and sin no more."

Yes, and make sure you burn all those CD / DVD copies you've ever made and smash your Tivo too.

After all, it was exactly that kind of thing in the Supreme court ruling that resulted in Google (remember them?) getting sued out of business... oh wait! That's right, Google won that case...

Mark's right, this is not a very good place to look for legal advice.

One author's less doomsday-ish advice:
http://www.danheller.com/blog/posts/photos-of-copyrighted-works-do-you-need.html

Wikipedia on Copyright:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

Wikipedia on "Fair Usage":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

... and you can still use Google :)

dvc


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6/12/2008 1:21:46 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  So David, I've got essentially three questions for you:

What, exactly were the facts and legal background in the Google case including the usage and what was at issue there and when and who was using what for what purpose(s) with or without express or implied notification to the plaintiff?

Second, how much did Google spend in attorney fees, court costs, witness fees and expenses, court costs like filing and jury fees, court reporter fees, transcript fees, clerk/ assistant fees, posting of bonds with the court, appellate court filing fees, Supreme Court filing fees and brief printing fees, and collateral costs, etc., in defending the suit vs. the the same expenses the plaintiffs went through to prosecute the action against Google?

So, I'll ask you, in your mind, is self-determined fair use you mentioned, even assuming for sake of arguement that it applies in David's case, worth that risk? IMHO, I think not.

And aside from referring to Dan Heller who's not a lawyer, openly acknowledges that, doesn't keep his website up to date in terms of all current cases in all jurisdictions and also clearly and freely acknowledges it's best to err on the side of NOT violating copyright and obtaining releases (for obvious reasons), your response kind of begs the question: "What copyrights, if any, have you continued to violate lately?" hmmmmmmmmmmmm? Oh, and btw, where'd ya go to law school. The one I graduated from was the ivy-covered kind back in the midwest.

Oh and btw, steadfastly clinging to the proposition of "fair use" together with it's frequent misinterpretation is exactly what gets people sued. So much for "doomsdayish" advice,
as you put it although this really IS a bad place to get legal advice. LOL !
Mark


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6/12/2008 4:03:47 PM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Still pretending that you're an attorney Mark? I asked this from you before on this site, that if you're going to "act" like an attorney then at least provide some credentials to back up your claim. Are you a member of the bar and if so what firms have you practiced with?

You get way to upset whenever someone challanges any of your posts. My experience is that is someone with something to hide. You can sure talk the talk here, but I don't think you can walk the walk.


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6/12/2008 4:44:17 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  You know ray, I see you're still under the delusion you're a member of the human race. And I see you're continuing to talk as though you're still a legend in your own mind.

Given your claimed level of intelligence during our close association, or lack thereof, I think I've been retty kind to you especially when you're wrong, which, as far as your level of legal advice based solely on your misadventures and inexperience(s) is about 100% of the time. You have yet, once, (did I say that clearly enough for you...as in one time ray) yet to offer one (uno, one, 1,) single recent citation of authority or one that hasn't been overruled by an appellate court, that indicates in any way, that what I said here was not legally correct. So instead, you want to hurl spurious accusations at me from your hovel in Missouri. It's to be expected.

Afterall, my own experience is that someone with something to hide leaves lucrative careers in things like publicity, (rather than retiring from them as I did) packs up and leaves one particular state, saaaay, California and moves to a rural area of a midwestern state (like ohhhhhhhhhhh, Missouri) to submit work to trade publications as a "photographer".

My legal career buddy (and I use that term loosely) btw, was for the government and as I said, most of the guys in my office didn't pay for a listing in Martindale and besides, that was some time ago.

Hope this note finds you well. ;>)
M.


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6/12/2008 6:45:22 PM

 
David Van Camp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/27/2008
  Hm, funny, the only advice I offered was to to seek alternate advice. Didn't know you needed a degree for that.

Heck, the pic was taken down before I saw the thread... I couldn't offer any other advice if I wanted to. And I don't.

And ditto Raymond. :)


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6/12/2008 7:15:57 PM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Mark, your response was exactly as I predicted. My experience with bullies and phonies (such as you) is that when they feel challenged they tend to come back with personal attacks and babblings just as you have here.

My questions to you (here and in the past) were straight up and well within the boundaries of being professionally reasonable and certainly do not warrant your ridiculously immature rebuttals.

I do believe you use the disguise of legal expertise to advance your own personal agenda as to what other photographers, particuarly neophytes, should follow and not well known published and widely accepted standards that myself and other professionals have offered in our efforts to contribute to these forums.

You have been a big help here to a lot of begining photographers Mark, but you need to learn to behave as a professional when others may challange or rebute your suggestions.

And yes, your note found me well. Thanks for your concern.



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6/12/2008 7:50:46 PM

 
Ulysses A. Villamin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/29/2008
  Is it hot in this thread or is it hot?


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6/12/2008 8:09:17 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  You know ray, I could set my watch by the timing of your responses here.

Before I put you on my ignore list, I'm going to say again that you've never, ever offered up a single case, or statute, or rule, to refute (not "rebute") anything I've ever ofered here. The reason is I don't think you can. Nor have you ever offered any explanation, plausible or not, as to why you need a battery of private lawyers researching first amendment and other laws that you now claim to be an expert in. I'm assuming you've been a defendant somewhere though I've never wanted to take the time to look and that, my friend, is what I'm trying to help guys like David and Ulysses avoid...i.e., becoming a defendant. Get it?

Second, I think you need to go back and review all the replies I've given to you over all our years together. I've answered which school, year of graduation, and jurisdictions I'm licensed to practice in. All you need to do is go back several years and look. But frankly, I don't think you could find a methane gas leak from yourself in a windstorm.

Nor do I chose to unnecessarily and repeatedly broadcast personal, irrelevant information about myself for a lot of reasons particularly because of some of the kinds of people running around the world. Maybe you can figure that one out.

Besides, I've already answered those issues for here or at one point by e-mail when you were living in Southern California. And true, we both have our fan clubs here and opponents.

Glad to see you're not calling members here "sheep" anymore. Guess you learned that one.

Oh and for the record David, I wasn't attacking you, just making a number of points for obvious reasons. Sorry if you took it wrong. But honestly, you don't need someone of ray's caliber defending you. You don't actually need any defending in the first instance.

And Ulysses, I prefer to call it passionate, robust, vigorous discussion. Whaddya think?
Later guys.
M


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6/12/2008 8:56:16 PM

 
Ulysses A. Villamin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/29/2008
  I prefer to call it HOT!


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6/12/2008 9:03:30 PM

 
David Van Camp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/27/2008
  Not sure what BP calls it, but I think they've deleted this thread......


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6/12/2008 9:19:22 PM

 
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