Rodeo Discovers That It Doesn't Own The Copyright On Videos Taken By Spectators

from the welcome-to-copyright-law dept

The EFF, in its continuing effort to push back on bogus DMCA takedown notices has successfully convinced the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association to settle a lawsuit that the EFF filed on behalf of some animal rights activists. They had been attending rodeos and filming things they believed represented cruelty towards the animals — and then posting those videos on YouTube. The PRCA issued DMCA takedown notices, apparently not realizing that they don’t actually own the copyright on those videos (whoever shot them does), and thus they were violating the DCMA (part of the takedown requires you to swear that you are the holder of the copyright). The settlement has PRCA not just admitting that it was wrong, but paying $25,000 to the activists and routing future takedown notices to the activist organization first. It’s quite common for sporting events or other events to believe they own the copyright on any photographs or video shot during the events, but hopefully settlements like this will give them a quick lesson in how copyright law works.

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Companies: prca

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Comments on “Rodeo Discovers That It Doesn't Own The Copyright On Videos Taken By Spectators”

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Zorkmid says:

Actually they could own the copyright...

In the USA an artist who has his own performance filmed or videotaped by an employee owns the copyright on that depiction and by a curiousity of law, other people’s simultaneous films or videotapes of the same performance violate the artist’s copyright (they’re either poor copies or “derivative works”) unless those videos are “transformative,” which they usually aren’t. This is why musical concerts are nearly always taped “by the band” and one of the reasons bootleg concert recordings violate copyright (other reasons include separate licensing of music, etc). If the rodeo or its participants had their own videos made then someone does indeed have the right to take down fan videos, subject to fair-use defenses.

Remember Folks - IANAL says:

Re: Actually they could own the copyright...

This is why they do not allow video camera on their (private) premises. They rightfully own the copyright and they do not want others to make copies of performance on private property. However, there is no such protection that covers video recorded on public property. I understand that there are those who would like this to be changed and have in the past acted as though it were changed already. Many big cities think they can control who photo/vid what when and where. They even think they can require a license. Do not let them have your camera eqmt, know your rights, and you own the rights of what ever you record on your or public property.

Is the above incorrect in any way ?

Peter says:

Re: Re: Actually they could own the copyright...

I presume you mean that a camera on public property was recording a performance on adjacent private property. AFAIK while the recording cannot be prevented, playing the video for enjoyment or entertainment would be a breach of the rodeo’s copyright. However AFAIK playing exerpts as a news item or to show that there are animal cruelty abuses would not be a breach of the rodeo’s copyright.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Actually they could own the copyright...

“camera on public property was recording a performance on adjacent private property”

That is an interesting situation, however I was thinking about the copyright claim upon recordings made at the inauguration. As far as I know, there were videos made on public property which HBO claims violate their copyright. I thought that the concert was on public property, maybe it wasn’t.

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