Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Book Video and Copyright Infringement

Book videos are being pulled and artists are yelling “copyright infringement” and rightly so. Whether you’re making a book video yourself or you’ve hired someone to make it for you if you use a picture, footage or music incorrectly or without permission you can be setting yourself and your publishing house up for a law suit.

As technology presents an easy way to do your own editing it seems easier to spend your time than your money by creating a video yourself. More and more small business video producers or “book marketers” are adding book video production to their list of services because it’s easy and it’s lucrative.

There’s nothing wrong with creating your own video. You just need to know how to make it, where to put it and a little something about the law. If you can do something yourself and save money it seems like the wise thing to do. But, like any industry there are reasons why professionals make good money at what they do. They know things you don’t. Take the time to learn those things, or be willing to suffer the consequences.

The first time I ever heard of a lawsuit regarding a book video was with VidLit’s "Yiddish With Dick and Jane". The publisher was accused of violating copyright for the old Fun With Dick and Jane series we all got to read as kids. The video received hundreds of thousands of views and was also named in the lawsuit. The producer wasn’t the one who originally caused the copyright problem, but the use of the material brought them into the fray.

I’ve seen authors use popular music in their book videos, or pictures of celebrities.

Not all licenses are created equal. So be sure you read the fine print when you take something that says “royalty free” for your book video. Sometimes there are caveats to being able to use a photo, footage or music.

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