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Write an assignment for contemporary business law(Company Copyrights) in which we took on entertainment and topic is on Videos copyright.

Exclusive Rights of Video Creators

The report below looks at video copyrights. When an audiovisual work is licensed, then it is copyrighted. Video copyrights give the creators of the video, exclusive rights of the video such that there cannot be any unauthorized copying or distribution without the creator's permission. The copyrights of a video are contained in the Copyright Act under Section 102. This act protects the rights of audiovisual works that are original.

An audiovisual work consists of related images that include audio and video which are shown with a projector or any other electronic equipment. The copyright of any audiovisual work is owned by the creator who becomes the copyright holder. The copyright holder thus has all the rights to a video and decides what can or cannot be done with it.

Factors to consider

When copyrighting a video, there are several factors to consider to ensure the rights in the copyright act are followed. Some of these factors are

Releases: release forms are very important when creating a video. This is because the persons appearing in the video have their rights to privacy and one would not want to interfere with this as it might lead to lawsuits (Cedillo-Hernandez, Cedillo-Hernandez, Garcia-Ugalde, Nakano-Miyatake and Perez-Meana 2016). Therefore, before shooting a video, it is advisable for one to have every person that will appear in the video to sign a release form. By signing the form any person in the video gives away their rights to the video and the creator can use it as they please. It also allows the creator to use the footage for commercial or non-commercial purposes (Ahuja and Bedi 2015)

Recording location: before recording the creator has to look for a suitable site that does not infringe anyone's rights. One has the right to shoot a video in any public place such as the streets. On the other hand, one is not allowed to shoot in private areas that involve interfering with a person's privacy (Baloch, alias Kashif, Chachar and Solangi 2017). These places are such as homes and business places. These places only become an exception if the owner has authorized permission.

Legal audio: all video contains audio. A creator can decide to use their sound (one that they have created) or use another person's audio. If the creator uses another person's video, they will have to obtain a license from that person before including it in the video (Chawla and Sharma 2017) Also in this case we have to buy out music. In buyout music, one pays the owner of the license a one -time fee that allows them to use the music for an unlimited time.

Factors to Consider When Copyrighting a Video

Stills and images: this is the same as the audio. The creator can decide to use their own or another person's. In this case, the creator is supposed to seek permission from the owner of the images before incorporating them in one's video (Cedillo-Hernandez 2016)

Copyright notice: once the creator is done shooting the video and decide to copyright it, they need to include a copyright notice in the video. The notice should also appear on the DVD or any other packaging that will contain the video (Gull and Flowers 2016). A copyright notice usually entails the symbol ©and the date of its creation.

Video creators usually copyright their work because they feel it is of value and fear one might copy it. The process of registering a video for copyrights is straightforward. One will visit the site for Electronic Copyright Office. This site is found at Once one sees the site, they are required to log in (Montoro-Pons and Cuadrado-García 2018).

The person then has to sign up with a name and a password. The site then gives one a form to fill electronically for registering the video. One is required to attach a copy of the video to the form filled, and this is done by uploading it to the site. After this one's video will be registered under the creator's name and thus give them exclusive rights to the video (Guo and Ji 2015)

The term of video copyright depends on various factors which include the date of the creator's death, if the video has been published and when the video was first published. Any video that was created after January 1st of 1978, the copyright term is the life of the creator plus 70years. In cases where the work is anonymous then the term of the copyright is 95 years from the year of publication and 120 years from the year it was created (Jang, Lee, Lim and Kwon 2015).

A video that is not copyrighted is in the public domain, and therefore anyone can use it for commercial or non-commercial purposes because no one has the exclusive rights to it. At times there are instances where a video that is copyrighted can be used for public domain works (Kreiner and Page Jr, Chanyu Holdings 2018). These instances are:

  • If the video was published before March 1st, 2018 and did not meet the requirements for a copyrighted video.
  • If the term of the copyright protection is over.
  • If the creator of the video allowed its permission in the public domain.

A creator can decide to acquire a public license for a video. This license allows for anyone in public to use the footage without seeking permission from the creator. As much as this license authorises the public to use the video, one must still adhere to the terms of the permit (Montoro-Pons and Cuadrado-García 2018). For example, if the license asks one to pay attribute to the creator of the video, then they will have to follow this

Process for Registering a Video for Copyrights

Some of the sources of the public domain, and the public licensed works are YouTube, Vimeo, Moving Image Archive from Internet Archive and Moving Image Research Center. All these sources have videos that are licensed under the Creative Commons Licenses and the Creative Public Domain dedication (Peck 2016).

As mentioned earlier, the copyright holders are the creators of the videos. These creators have specific rights in regards to their videos. If one uses a copyrighted video but does not go against the rights of the creator, then they do not need any permission (Shi, Yang, Gong, Liu, and Xia 2017). For example, if a family is watching a video at home, then they have not violated the rights because they have not made a copy of the video or distributed it.

Therefore some of the rights that a user needs to ensure they have not violated are:

  • Copying: no one should produce a copy of the video without permission from the creator or without a license.
  • Distribution: no user is supposed to distribute the video through any means such as the internet or the phone without a permit or license from the copyright holder.
  • Reproducing: no user is supposed to replicate a video in any way such as a parody without the permission or a license from the creator.
  • Display: no user is supposed to display a person's video in public without authorisation from the owner to do so.
  • Modification: no user is allowed to modify a video in any way without authorisation from the creator.

Just like the copyright holders users also have their rights in regards to copyrighted material. For example, if a person uses a video that is at par with the user's rights in the Copyright Act, then they do ‘not need permission from the copyright holder.

Some of the rights for the users under this act are

  • Fair use: this allows the user to use copyrighted video in specific circumstances such as commenting
  • Education; this allows for the users to use the copyrighted video in teaching such as face to face teaching

This is when a person uses footage without adhering to its copyright laws. For example, if a person makes copies of a video and then distributes them for sale, then they have infringed the rights of the copyright holder. This can occur if the person did not ask for permission from the creator or when they did not obtain a license for the work (Shin, Lee and Kim 2015). A person that infringes the rights of the copyright holder may face lawsuits. These lawsuits are for the damages caused, and a person may find themselves paying over $150 000 worth of damages. It is vital for one to adhere to the copyright laws of a video to avoid being sued for damages.


Video copyrights are very important to creators and ensure they protect their work in cases where they feel it is valuable and one can copy the work. Copyright laws are found in the Copyright Act in Section 102, and a creator can look at the guidelines to determine the terms of copyright. The act will also provide the creator with the rights they have as the copyright holder.

Also, one can easily copyright their video in some steps by logging in to the Electronic Copyright Office. Once one completes the registration, then their video is copyrighted. In conclusion, it is essential for users to adhere to the copyright laws to avoid violating the holder's rights.


Ahuja, R. and Bedi, S.S., 2015, May. Copyright protection using blind video watermarking algorithm based on MPEG-2 structure. In Computing, Communication & Automation (ICCCA), 2015 International Conference on (pp. 1048-1053). IEEE.

Baloch, A.R., alias Kashif, U., Chachar, K.G. and Solangi, M.A., 2017. Video Copyright Detection Using High-Level Objects in Video Clip. Sukkur IBA Journal of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, 1(2), pp.95-101.

Cedillo-Hernandez, A., Cedillo-Hernandez, M., Garcia-Ugalde, F., Nakano-Miyatake, M. and Perez-Meana, H., 2016, August. Copyright Protection in Video Distribution Systems by Using a Fast and Robust Watermarking Scheme. In International Conference on Industrial, Engineering and Other Applications of Applied Intelligent Systems (pp. 409-421). Springer, Cham.

Chawla, P. and Sharma, N., 2017. YCbCr Colour Watermark Embedding in Digital Video for Copyright Protection using Zero Padding. Journal of Telecommunication, Electronic and Computer Engineering (JTEC), 9(3-6), pp.19-22.

Gull, J. and Flowers, T., 2016. Prosecuting Copyright Infringement Cases and Emerging Issues. US Att'ys Bull., 64, p.18.

Guo, Y., Yu, Z. and Ji, J., 2015. Legal Risks and Solutions to Video-Sharing Web Sites—Focusing on Copyright Infringement. In Research on Selected China's Legal Issues of E-Business (pp. 193-202). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Jang, B.J., Lee, S.H., Lim, S. and Kwon, K.R., 2015. Biological Infectious Watermarking Model for Video Copyright Protection. JIPS, 11(2), pp.280-294.

Kreiner, B.M. and Page Jr, J.E., Chanyu Holdings LLC, 2018. Video recorder. U.S. Patent 9,934,628.

Montoro-Pons, J.D. and Cuadrado-García, M., 2018. Copyright infringement and cultural participation. In Digital Piracy (pp. 146-174). Routledge.

Peck, J., 2016. Tobi Vail Issues Copyright Infringement Notice to Hillary Clinton'Rebel Girl'Video. Death and Taxes.

Shi, Y., Yang, H., Gong, M., Liu, X. and Xia, Y., 2017. A fast and robust key frame extraction method for video copyright protection. Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2017.

Shin, S., Lee, C. and Kim, J., 2015. A study on the distribution of profits from additional rights in movie content. TECHART: Journal of Arts and Imaging Science, 2(1), pp.28-34.

Cite This Work

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[Accessed 23 June 2024].

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