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Old March 9th, 2009, 10:20 PM   #1
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law about using news clips from online news sources in our video/shows?


I asked this in another section and was pointed this way.

Now the obvious, I realize I am asking a question that should be checked with a lawyer. I also realize this is not a legal site. However, I would think that some of you more seasoned vets would have already done or run into this. So the obvious out of the way. Here is my question.

What is the law about using news clips from online news sources in an online show? I am planning on doing a talk show type deal and would like to be able to briefly discuss various things in the news that day. For example bank robber writes note on his check stub and stuff like that.

I'm thinking still captures and such from various news orgs. I have googled it but not getting any answers. Any help is appreciated.


Last edited by Michael Cox; March 10th, 2009 at 09:40 AM.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 11:20 PM   #2
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You're asking a legal question in a forum that is NOT composed of lawyers. The law is complex and often subject to much interpretation. The ONLY safe way to get a question like this answered is to to hire a qualified legal professional with specific expertise in copyright law to assess your risk.

If you'd like to inform yourself on some of the issues prior to that professional discussion, you might start at the Stanford University web site regarding the subject of Fair Use - which governs how someone MIGHT be able to use small parts of copyright works for the purpose of criticism without running afoul of the law - but again, the final decision on whether YOUR use is legal or not needs to be informed by competent legal counsel.

Good luck.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 12:05 AM   #3
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Try the "taking care of business" thread here on DVi - you'll get answers, but you REALLY are asking questions that should be put to an attorney before you go too far. There are issues of fair use and "news", but in the end you're talking about the use of someone else's copyrighted work...
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Old March 10th, 2009, 12:56 AM   #4
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I won't even begin to tell you that I understand how the law works. I do know that both Fox and CNN used a few minutes of footage from a documentary I was hired to produce this summer that we had posted as part of a trailer online in various news stories. What they did was play the trailer, and then aim their camera at the computer screen. I know fair usage comes in but I don't know how far it goes.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 05:52 AM   #5
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Moved to TCB.

Thread title changed from "noob question" to " law about using news clips from online news sources in our video/shows?" -- please avoid using ambiguous thread titles on this site. Thanks,

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Old March 11th, 2009, 11:09 PM   #6
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It doesn't matter

It doesn't matter that the clips you want to use are news clips, and it doesn't matter that they are from online sources. They are protected by copyright just like anything else. If you didn't create them, you need permission to use them.

Now there are exceptions to copyright law, mainly fair use. I can't tell you if fair use comes into play in your situation or not, you would need a lawyer to tell you that. Also you should know even if your use of the clips falls under the umbrella of fair use, that does not prevent you from getting sued.

The best advice I ever heard about fair use from anyone is that no matter what the usage is, if you are using someone else's material you better be prepared to defend a lawsuit. Also of note: more and more news outlets today are looking at internet distribution of news content as an additional revenue stream and are defending their copyrights more aggressively
than ever.
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