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Copyright: mash-up; photoshop; photomontage -- good stuff to know for video makers.

Discussion in 'Videos' started by Bugs Bunny, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Mods: Can this be made into a sticky please? Thank you.

    Doc got one of his videos pulled by youtube because Reuters claimed they had copyright on the footage.

    On the other hand, these video music compilations of the protests are vitally important to the morale of the protestors in Iran as well as to us here who look on. So I thought I would look up some legal concepts and post them here.

    If you all find similar information, please share it with us. Thank you.

    FIRST UP: MASH UP

    What's mash up? Take two tracks (at least), import them into an audio editor (Audacity is a freebie), synchronize the tempo and the pitch, line up their waveforms, and voila! You have a brand new creation.

    Mashup: fair use or infringing derivative work?

    Let us remember what Pablo Picasso said about the creative process:

    "Artists reference; great artists steal." ;)
  2. Here is a fun example of mashup -- Charlie Brown Christmas Special and Outkast’s Hey Ya!

    Peanuts Mashup, Copyright & Fair Use

    Further to the Outkast opinion: I think if a mashup maker used a clip of the music instead of the whole track -- or even went further and mashed up the audio as well -- then that would be a successful case for fair use.
  3. NOW FOR PHOTOSHOPPING STOCK IMAGES:

    People have always remixed their cultural artifacts; the internet has made them publishers

    [IMG] [IMG]

    So, you can photoshop your image to "transform" it. GIMP is a good photo editor that you can download for free. But if the photo you want is in jpg it probably doesn't have enough file size for you to do anything transformative with it. I used to like 300 pixels per inch. That would give me more than enough file size to do completely disguise the darn thing. But you can measure for yourself.

    I simply don't know how many big file-size photos of the protests are out there. Does anyone else know?

    Another drawback is that photoshopping your images takes a load of time. Well, that's the price you gotta pay or risk getting your video taken off the web.
  4. I am not going to go into digital video editing to any extent, because I basically suck at digital video editing. I can give you some tips from way back in the analog days though.

    Again, only use a part of the video you are "referencing".

    You can chop it up into little bits, so as to give the feeling of confusion, speed, violence, and so on.

    You can place clips into different time frames. Flashbacks. Flashforwards.

    You can re-montage them. (What's montage? I'ts compressed narrative. OK, the first film montage was Battleship Potemkin. You have a lady pushing a baby carriage close to a stair. Then cut to the bottom of the stair with the baby carriage on its side. You get the feeling that a tragedy has happened with the baby, but you didn't actually see the baby falling down the stairs, did you?)

    You can get two video tracks going of the same video clip (or even different video clips). Get a semi-transparent effect going between the two. And delay the second track by about a fraction of a second behind the first. Easy-peasy.

    Actually if you can get your video editor to do transparent, then you can entirely remontage your clips.

    You can do montage with still photos too, particularly if you have a transparency in your movie/video editor. Otherwise you are going to have to do it in your photo editor and use an appropriate transition in your movie/video editor.

    If you try to do other stuff with your video to "transform" it then you are going to be years making it. So be careful what you wish for.

    For example, there was a guy who made all the balloons green in his black and white protest video. Remember when Steven Spielberg made the little girl red in his black and white film "Schindler's List"? I don't know how to do that. But there's the web to find out.

    Also a lot depends on how good a video editor you have or movie maker you have. Director costs about $1000 but it's beautiful and will even allow you to make 2-D animation effects with your photos. Most of us just have Windows Moviemaker these days.

    Transformative enough for you?
  5. More on music mashup. Take a look at this. This is an editing job, and specifically it is a mashup. Uh... way awesome research and mixing!

  6. Ray Murphy Member

    The second image is not substantially the same, so there is no breach of copyright.
  7. Yep, we're catching on. It was a hekuva a lot of work to "transform" that Chinese poster though. The trick is to have your photoshop files really well organized.

    Also, I forgot to mention that when choosing your music tracks for mashup, choose something with a strong beat. It is far easier to see where to cut on the waveform. And when it comes to synchronizing your images to the music, you gotta be able to see those beats on the waveform.

    Choirs and harmony, cloudy music, are really hard to cut. Good audio editors can do it. But good audio editors are born not made. Keep it simple. Easier said than done.

    Oh and I forgot: more on photoshopping. One way to get big file size is to go to the library, take out some books with photos in them (particularly possible with the 1999 uprising and the 1979 revolution and of course ancient history) -- and scan them in. If you don't have a scanner then borrow someone else's. Scan them in at 300 ppi. That will allow you do the kind of "transforming" that you saw with the Chinese poster.

    Oh and don't forget to watermark (copyright) your final image. (smile)
  8. Ray Murphy Member

    Of course in most cases, particularly when fraud is not an issue, it's all irrelevant anyway if the "copier" only owns a bicycle.
  9. Yeah, the "copier" will only lose the bicycle. :D But the thing is, the video will be removed from youtube. We don't want that. We want the protest video mashups to go viral. And stay viral.
  10. Ray Murphy Member

    AND if you live in the U.S. and wish to have a RIGHT to sue for damages, the new image or work must first be registered for a nominal fee and THEN the alleged copyright infringer must be warned off. If they refuse, damages can be sought.
  11. Ray Murphy Member

    It would be a very expensive way to acquire a "copier's" bicycle. It would be much cheaper to just get a court order for removal of a work and forget the bicyle.
  12. Thanks for this Ray.

    I am thinking that if -- in addition to explicit claims for educational, non-profit, fair comment in the information section of the youtube page on which your video appears -- there is also a copyright notice for the new work, then Reuters will be less trigger happy in demanding that youtube remove "their" referenced material. But then again Reuters is a strange lot.

    Anyway, am I not too far off the mark in thinking this?
  13. Through threats of legal action. Which is what happened to doc. In Canada to even enter a civil suit you have to have $150K on the table. Sheesh. That would wipe most of us out. Who would want to do anything other than settle out of court? youtube got doc to agree to remove his video.

    Of course doc just has to mash up his video a bit and he can upload it all over again.

    :D:D:D
  14. Ray Murphy Member

    It's a tough one. Personally I wouldn't bother trying to dress it up at any time, but NEVER for the big internet companies because they almost always go with the complainant unless the accused offers a very plausible comeback - and it doesn't matter who is big or small if a complainant puts forward genuine looking case.

    For example, if Reuters (whom I have the utmost respect for incidentally) said they were sent a video for their sole use and ALL copying rights had passed to them, then anyone in their right mind would take their claim at face value and act accordingly. If they don't actually own all copying rights, then they have no claim, and would just be one legitimate user of the work.

    Personally if I was as mad as hell about people getting bashed, tortured and murdered, I wouldn't give a damn about copyright.
  15. Ray Murphy Member

    Of course it's up to youtube again if they receive another complaint, but they would run out of patience if it had to be re-worked more than a few times.
  16. Best just not to truck with Reuters.
  17. Ray Murphy Member

    Was the video special in some way?
    Perhaps a word picture would be a good idea right now.
  18. No, not special visually; not altered. The video looked quite straight forward. It looked basically to be video edits with a music track. To tell you the truth, I couldn't look at it all. It was an hour long, torrented into various parts.

    It's here on the video forum: Green cd hour long video from Iran
  19. Hi, me again. I forgot to post this video yesterday. It is actually on the main video forum. from the point of view of AUDIO: I am not sure how far this meets the requirements for 'mashup', but I think it does. Maybe Ray will give us his point of view. I hope so.

    Nevertheless, in terms of audio, the first half is imho incredible. First the masher chose a really simple music track: Radiohead "Spinning Plates." He then added news announcements and sometimes there seemed to me to be five tracks piled up on top of each other. Also, he controlled the volume of each track so that the tracks weaved in and out of each other and in and out of the visual.

    That was the first half. The second half is spotty. There is a glitch where the audio cuts back in. Maybe if there were more glitches, it would just give the video a raw, immediate feel. But anyway notice the choice of a simple music track, slow build up.

    As for the visual: notice the masher uses straight cuts; no fancy transitions. To tell you the truth, the shakey-cam footage drew me in so completely that it was really difficult for me to notice where the cuts were.

    I like this piece. Warning: graphic violence.

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