Tuesday, 11 June 2013

How To Avoid Copyright Infringement On YouTube

Copyrignt symbol

Imagine how you would feel if you discovered someone had stolen your iPad and showed it off to everyone claiming it was their own. I bet you would be annoyed and upset, well that is exactly how I felt when I realised someone had stolen one of my videos and uploaded it to their own YouTube channel.

Screen shot from Math Trick For Your Fingers - Easy Multiplication
Screen shot from Math Trick For Your Fingers - Easy Multiplication

In 2007 I created a video and uploaded it to my Metacafe channel, (Metacafe is a video sharing site), but in June 2013 I found my video on YouTube. At first I was surprised, I had never uploaded it to YouTube and I had never given anyone else permission to use my content. My surprise turned to anger when I realised at least six people had copied my video and generated a total of
1.3 million views on YouTube.

The real point is the unauthorised copying of anyone's work is theft. There is a common misconception that content available on the Internet is free to copy and re-use, but most of the time this is not true. The internet is just like the regular world where copyright protects the creator of a work that is both creative and has been fixed in some tangible medium. That includes photographs, art works, video & sound recordings, literary works, etc. and only the copyright owner can benefit commercially from that work and only the copyright owner can determine how that work can be used. Even if someone does not intend to make money from a copyrighted work they cannot copy and use it without permission. However it maybe possible to use a work without infringing copyright under "fair use" or "fair dealing". Fair use is typically restricted to study, instruction, review or criticism, news reporting and incidental use, however certain restrictions will apply. For more details on fair use in the UK see the copyright service website.

In both the UK and US there is no need to register a copyright since your copyright is automatic on creation or publication of a work. When an original work is created in the UK it is also automatically protected in most other parts of the world, so usually there is no need to register the copyright elsewhere. Furthermore a copyright notice is not actually required for a work to be protected by copyright law. Just because a video or photograph lacks a copyright notice does not mean it is available for anyone to copy and use, whether commercially or non-commercially. However, a copyright notice would prevent others claiming "innocent infringement" of your copyright. A typical copyright notice would be the © symbol, your name and the year the work was created or published. In the US you can voluntarily register your copyright in a work with the US Copyright Office. They recommend you copyright your work because if your copyright is infringed and you wish to take legal action you will have to register your copyright anyway. However in the UK the Intellectual Property Office says, "There is no official copyright register because copyright is automatic."

If you are wondering, "How do I prove I own the copyright", do not be fooled by the old wives tale that posting a copy of your work to yourself proves your ownership, all it shows is that you were in possession of the work at that time. Better proof would be possession of your original drafts and files. In the case of a video, that would be the original source footage, images, draft script and production files. Possession of these should support your claim more effectively than mailing the finished work to yourself by registered post.

However, before you start complaining about someone infringing your copyright be sure you actually own it. If you personally created the video the rights will be yours but did you pay someone to make the video for you? If you did and that person is your employee the copyright is likely to belong to you, but if they are not one of your employees or a separate company the copyright will belong to them. Unless you have a contract that assigns the rights to you the intellectual property rights belong to the creator. For instance, if you have ever hired a wedding photographer you will be familiar with the proofs being watermarked, not getting the original negatives or image files and not being allowed to scan the prints. Why? Because you don't own the copyright to your own wedding photographs, the photographer does. That's the law!

Generally the only safe way to avoid infringing someone else's copyright is to create your own video, and generally that is true provided you created EVERYTHING in your video. Say you are a travel agent and want a promotional video about your weekend breaks to Paris using footage you took yourself. Naturally the landmark that instantly places you in Paris is the Eiffel Tower so you take your shots with the tower prominently in the background. Provided you shot your video during the day everything is fine but if you did it at night, when the Eiffel Tower is lit up, you will need to pay a fee and get a signed release form, because the Eiffel Tower lights are subject to copyright. There are many other examples of buildings you want to avoid in a commercial video, and when it comes to featuring songs there is plenty to trip you up. "Happy Birthday", a song most people assume to be traditional and in the public domain, is actually owned by Warner/Chappell and generates royalties every year thought to be worth millions of dollars. Unless you get permission and pay the appropriate fee avoid using the song in your commercial video.

[AMENDMENT: Happy Birthday has now been ruled to be in the Public Domain. In September 2015 US district judge George H King ruled the copyright claim filed by the Clayton F Summy Co. in 1935 only applied to a specific arrangement of the song, not the tune itself. Judge King also ruled that Summy never acquired the rights to the song’s lyrics. Therefore, the successors-in-interest to Summy Co. do not own a valid copyright in the Happy Birthday lyrics.]

Why should you be concerned about not breaching someone else's copyright? because the consequences can be severe. Corporations tend to strenuously protect their intellectual property rights and may choose to sue for infringement. In the U.S. offenders could be subject to statutory damages of up to $150,000 per work so you would be well advised to check first before getting yourself into a legal quagmire.

Disclaimer: Please note the above information is not legal advice and is provided for informational purposes only. If you require advice on copyright issues consult a legal professional specialising in intellectual property rights.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tosh Lubek is an award winning writer/producer and founder of Tosh Lubek Productions, a company based in the West of Scotland that creates website videos and radio advertising for clients across the UK and Ireland.

Tosh Lubek can be contacted on 01292 570823 or through his website http://www.toshlubekproductions.co.uk

Friday, 24 May 2013

Tosh Lubek Productions celebrates 3 years in business by adding TV commercial production to its range of services

Tosh Lubek Productions, based just outside of Ayr, recently passed the significant milestone of being in business for three years and celebrated by adding TV commercial production to the list of services it offers.

Tosh Lubek Productions was established in May 2010 to offer a radio commercial production service to advertisers and broadcasters across the UK. Tosh Lubek said, "I was confident I had the creative skills clients were looking for since I had 28 years experience in professional broadcasting and had won several prestigious national and international awards as a writer and producer ". During the last three years Tosh Lubek Productions has gradually added more media services to satisfy customer demands, as Tosh Lubek said, "Within a few months of starting the business my clients began asking for promotional videos for their websites or web video. Since I had experience of video production at Aberdeen Cable TV it was a demand I was easily able to satisfy".

With web video firmly established as part of the company's portfolio it was not long before the production of in-store TV advertising was added to the list of services. Tosh Lubek said, "in-store TV advertising works well for my clients. The short videos I produce can include general information about the businesses, specific products and of course offers. TV and video are powerful media because we tend to trust the truth of what we see".

Since the introduction of in-store TV advertising the company has not stood still, it has worked on the creation of client DVDs, the sound design for a dinosaur themed visitor attraction and now television commercials. Tosh said, "For the last 18 months I have helped my clients with their TV advertising, from working on the copy and advising on the visuals to producing the voiceover and audio track. But I have now produced a complete TV commercial for Dino Park that is running on ITV Border ".

Dino Park TV commercial

David Wilson, the owner of Dino Park, called and asked if it were possible to get a TV commercial written and produced in time for the bank holiday weekend, of course the answer was yes. Fortunately Tosh had already created a couple of web videos for Dino Park so a lengthy briefing session was not necessary prior to writing a script and storyboard. Once approved the graphics could be sourced from Alba Printers, the web designers responsible for Dino Park's website, and production set in motion. The voiceover was recorded, edited and mixed with appropriate background music and sound effects. Next came the graphical elements, supplied by Alba Printers as photographs and vector files. The latter would have to be teased apart into individual elements before being imported into Photoshop so a little tweaking. Finally the sound track and graphics could be imported into Adobe After Effects, a digital motion graphics, visual effects and compositing software package, and the visuals added and animated. A few hours later the commercial was ready for approval and dispatch to ITV.

The TV commercial was created at short notice but at Tosh Lubek Productions working on such projects is not a problem, "Last minute bookings are something I got used to when working in radio", Tosh commented, "so rush jobs don't faze me, however quality can't be compromised in an effort to get the job done quickly ". As it happened David Wilson from Dino Park was very pleased with the final result and said, "the commercial looks great and thanks for the quick turn around".

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tosh Lubek is an award winning writer/producer and founder of Tosh Lubek Productions, a company based in the West of Scotland that creates website videos and radio advertising for clients across the UK and Ireland.

Tosh Lubek can be contacted on 01292 570823 or through his website http://www.toshlubekproductions.co.uk


Monday, 6 May 2013

How DVD Business Cards Can Bring Concrete Results

Tosh Lubek, Paul Harrison & Dianne Harrison
MJ Harrison Supplies, the sole Scottish distributor of Moore Concrete Products, regularly exhibits at trade shows including the Royal Highland show but as Paul Harrison told Tosh Lubek, "Who wants to carry your bulky printed brochure all day but a business card alone offers limited information about us". At Tosh Lubek Productions we suggested an alternative, the DVD Video Business Card.

Left to right: Tosh Lubek, Paul Harrison and Dianne Harrison

The DVD Video Business Card is the size of a credit card so it can easily be slipped into a pocket. Like a normal business card it can be printed with your logo and contact information but it can also include a promotional video about your business and pdf files of your company brochure or leaflets. It not only conveys more information than the traditional cardboard version but it also has a better chance of remaining on someone's desk because of its usefulness and novelty value. It is also flexible, with the video content being playable on a laptop/pc or a conventional DVD player.

Video is a great way to make a statement about your company. People can get an idea of who you are and that starts to build a relationship and there's nothing more important in business than good relationships with your customers. Although both Paul and Dianne appear in their video it also features testimonials from their customers. As Dianne says, "They tell their story about working with MJ Harrison Supplies and when someone sees a real person talking about your business they can instantly tell that your client is being sincere. The effect is much more powerful than just reading a customer's testimonial." Dianne also appreciated the versatility of their promotional video produced by Tosh Lubek, "Not only is it on the DVD Video Business Card but we could also show it on a TV display at our trade stand plus we can put it on our website."

Video DVD business card
 The DVD Video Business Card is a perfect way for MJ Harrison Supplies to economically provide their customers with the information they require. "We supply pre-stressed concrete products to agricultural, construction and industrial customers", said Paul Harrison, "And because our brochure leaflets are on the DVD our customers can view and then print the ones they need. That saves on our printing costs and is environmentally beneficial because it cuts down on total paper use." Reduced postage is a further saving. Being small and light the DVD Video Business Card can be mailed at the letter rate rather than as a large letter or package.

All in all, the DVD Video Business Card offers many benefits over the traditional alternative.

Tosh Lubek image ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tosh Lubek is an award winning writer/producer and founder of Tosh Lubek Productions, a company based in the West of Scotland that creates website videos and radio advertising for clients across the UK and Ireland.

Tosh Lubek can be contacted on 01292 570823 or through his website http://www.toshlubekproductions.co.uk

Sounds Apps-olutely Relaxing

Over the last year Tosh Lubek Productions has worked with The Sound Tourist to create the audio for a series of apps designed to help people relax and unwind. The apps are all about escapism, dreaming, finding a place of peace and serenity, whenever you feel like it.  Each one captures some of life’s blissful moments, allowing the listener to transport their mind to a beautiful, idyllic place.

We helped The Sound Tourist to record an original narrative and create a soundscape that incorporated organic sounds recorded outdoors on location, in places of outstanding beauty, in Ayrshire and Argyll.  The combination of the sounds, narrative and the listeners imagination will give them a very real and pleasant experience.

The Sound Tourist, who enjoys the outdoors, said "I’ve carefully chosen the setting for each app, many of the sounds will be familiar to you and so you'll find these safe and comforting, allowing you to build on your own memories and positive experiences, so you can drift along on your own journey or join mine."

 The Sound Tourist has initially released three apps in the series, "The Woodman's Fire", recorded on an evening in a forest clearing in Argyll in Scotland; "Bonnie Doon", recorded on an idyllic summer’s day by the banks of the River Doon where Robert Burns once walked; and "Turnberry Sunset", recorded on the remote sands of Turnberry shore.

Using the latest recording and creative technology we were able to weave together location sounds, music and narrative that will help the listener find some peace and serenity in their busy life.

The three apps are now available from Google Play for download onto mobile devices and can be found by searching for their names or keywords "relax" and "escapism".

The Sound Tourist hopes listeners will find these apps beneficial and rewarding and that they will help listeners find some peace and serenity in a busy life". Tosh Lubek Productions wish The Sound Tourist every success with this release and look forward to further additions to the series of relaxation apps.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tosh Lubek is an award winning writer/producer and founder of Tosh Lubek Productions, a company based in the West of Scotland that creates website videos and radio advertising for clients across the UK and Ireland.

Tosh Lubek can be contacted on 01292 570823 or through his website http://www.toshlubekproductions.co.uk 

Tosh Lubek Productions puts the Roar into Dino Park

South West Scotland is booming to the roar of pre-historic beasts at Dino Park, Scotland's newest dinosaur attraction. The leafy labyrinth at Carrutherstown features a walkabout safari trail, a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex and Spinosaurus plus 13 other dinosaurs.

Dino Park recently opened at Hetland Garden Centre and Ayrshire based Tosh Lubek Productions was given responsibility for creating the sound design for the exhibits as well as the park's online video on their website www.dinopark.co.uk.
Tosh Lubek said, "The sound design brief was to create believable soundscapes while recognising Dino Park would be a fun attraction. It's pre-historic natural history served up Hollywood adventure style."

Obviously no one knows exactly what creatures sounded like in the Cretaceous, Jurassic or Triassic periods but children have a clear impression of what dinosaurs should sound like thanks to movies like Jurassic Park plus TV and arena spectaculars like Walking With Dinosaurs. Because entertainment is a big part of Dino Park Tosh Lubek Productions had to satisfy children's expectations while creating soundscapes that were also credible. Tosh Lubek said, "We started by researching each dinosaur species on show to ensure the sounds we chose or created were realistic. Armed with that information we searched our own sound effects library, which has perhaps 50,000 sound clips, then looked at specialist online sound archives."

It was a big task to create the sound design since soundscapes seldom come ready made and sound effects are often in the form of individual elements. "We had to piece together the elements for the environment and then the dinosaurs themselves, a kind of aural jigsaw puzzle". Tosh Lubek continued, "There would be a sound of a Dino moving through it's environment, brushing against bushes, their footsteps, mouthfuls of vegetation taken and then munched. Think of it as painting with sound to create an aural picture. Sound is more important than you might think in creating an authentic experience and in building emotion. Try watching a nature documentary or movie with the volume turned down and you will get the idea."         

Dino Park owner, David Wilson said, "The quality and professionalism of the sound and graphics done by Tosh Lubek for the Dino Park far exceeded our expectations, and has made the visit hugely enjoyable and memorable for many children and their families."

Visitors to Dino Park will be thrilled by the collection of dinosaurs including long necked favourites Brontosaurus and Brachiosaurus, towering at 22 feet tall, the three horned Triceratops, spiked tailed Stegosaurus, and ferocious Velociraptors. Tosh Lubek Productions has certainly helped bring the pre-historic heavy weights alive for visitors and Dino Park is certain to be a big hit with children and dinosaur fans alike.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tosh Lubek is an award winning writer/producer and founder of Tosh Lubek Productions, a company based in the West of Scotland that creates website videos and radio advertising for clients across the UK and Ireland.

Tosh Lubek can be contacted on 01292 570823 or through his website http://www.toshlubekproductions.co.uk