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The Issue of Copyrighted Material in Posts and Podcasts

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posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 08:43 AM
We've had some recent confusion about copyrighted material (full selections of commercial music) in member podcasts.

I'd like to clear this up, as it seems that a few new podcasters have not noticed the clear guidelines directly below the podcast upload form:

All normal Terms & Conditions apply with indicated podcast exceptions.

Explicit language is allowed only if you apply the adult language flag in the upload form.

You must introduce yourself and our sites with your name and our URL within the first 30 seconds of your podcast. For example, "This is the SkepticOverlord coming to you on the podcast".

Members with more than 200 posts are automatically added to the feed. If you have fewer posts, your submission is reviewed first.

If your podcast features entire music selections, you must either have the rights to distribute the music, or it must be designated podsafe music with appropriate credit added to your podcast thread (created when your podcast is uploaded).

Podcast topics should reflect the board feeds, BTS for general topics, PTS for political commentary, ATSNN for news and current events, and ATS for all related topics.

Inappropriate content in your podcast (illegal information, copyrighted material without permission, attacking members, etc.) will result in termination of your member account.

There are certainly hundreds, if not thousands of examples throughout the Internet of sites and content that do not attempt to follow even these simple guidelines. They should not be compared to what we attempt to do here on ATS.

If one thing has been clear in our history of managing the ATS websites its this: ethics. And especially when it applies to the intellectual property of someone else.

The excuse that "others are doing it" does not apply here, and never will.

We expect that the superior membership of will hold the content of other people in high regard, and treat it with respect via the simple guidelines we make clear. We do this in anticipation that others will treat the content you post here with the same high regard.

Our standards are high because they should be.

We treat the efforts of others with respect because they deserve it.

There will be no wavering of this most basic tenet of ATS because it's the right way to act.

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 08:57 AM

I include Podsafe Music in my Podcasts...

What type of "Credit" other than listing the author and song in the thread should I give?


posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 09:05 AM
Also, I am having difficulty in discerning the "Creative Commons" license and how it can be used and when...

Any help there????


posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 09:07 AM
The boundaries of copyright law have been blurred by the rapid advance in technology, but the basic principle of NOT COPYING ENTIRE WORKS by other people to use for yourself is still quite clear.

I'd hate to see a RIAA lawsuit shut us down.

On a related note, it's starting to look like Google's purchase of YouTube was possibly a huge blunder on their part. Now, copyright holders have a company with deep pockets they can sue for infringement: Google's copyright nightmare. (I'm betting this will be the basis for the MSM supressing clips such as those of Keith Olberman, John Stewart etc.)

Anyway, it just goes to show that copyright law, while very confusing and always changing, can and will be used by copyright holders as the basis for lawsuits when the timing is right, there's money to be made or when there is an agenda to fulfill.

Don't give RIAA and others any excuses or reasons to come after ATS people!

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 09:10 AM
At a minimum, the podsafe music requirements are artist and title. However, be aware that many podsafe artists require that you inform them of your podcast filename and publication date... if that's the case, you should also be doing that.

Each post on ATS carries the unique CC definition via the copyright link...
Your post: copyright
It's a very simple and collaborative requirement:
Your post can be used by others if they credit you, ATS, and link back to the thread containing your post.
Your post cannot be used by others if they create a derivative work or use it in a commercial venture.

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 09:14 AM

Lets pretend I'm a block head... (Not too hard to do as I'm a cop..LOL)

Does this mean I can use Creative Commons Licensed Music in a Podcast?

I always send the artist a note telling them I have used their selection.


posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 09:29 AM

Originally posted by semperfortis
Does this mean I can use Creative Commons Licensed Music in a Podcast?

There are several ways to construct a creative commons deed. If the artist's specific deed allows the type of usage you'd use in an ATS podcast... then you're okay.

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 09:32 AM
Thank you SO...

I appreciate it...

I would HATE to be the one that caused the downfall of ATS..

I'm guessing I would be strung up.


posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 09:39 AM
While the potential of legal action against ATS remains a concern in issues such as this, our #1 concern was spelled out in my first post... it's the right way to behave.

I'd like to comment on the "other reason" we've adopted what some see as strict restrictions on outside content... credibility.

One of the longest standing and most serious issues with the entire "conspiracy theory" and "alternative topics" fields has that of credibility. We all know that anytime you bring up our core topics in mixed company, you wonder if it will ultimately influence your perceived credibility. While you, as an individual, may not care, the ownership of ATS has assumed a higher degree of responsibility.

If we can play some small role in improving the credibility of our genre, then it's worth the extra effort.

Respecting the efforts of others (regardless of the form) is a core action of credible people and groups. By acting as a massive group that takes exceptional efforts to show we have a high regard for the contributions of others, we make a strong statement of credibility.

So this issue has three influences, in this order:
1. respect others' work so ours may be respected
2. respect others' work so we may be more seen as credible
3. respect others' work so we may avoid legal issues

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 09:41 AM
I may be wrong about this, but my son and I where talking about using clips from other bands in project he and his band have been working on. I thought it was against the law to use other bands material without consent, he says yes that's true but you can use up to 30 seconds of material without having to give credit or royalties. I still don't know if that's legal or not though. Could anyone set me straight on this.

Sorry if I'm off track on this thread

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 09:49 AM
(I'm not an expert on this)

I believe the 30-second rule applies only if it's a non-commercial project... but it may have only been a "rule of thumb" where the RIAA choose not to take action, and not actual law.
("Fair use" typically applies for editorial efforts and not artistic efforts.)

Many high-profile podcasters have stopped playing all non-podsafe music because of the confusion gray areas such as this. And a lot of very creative mashup mixers have stopped completely.

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 09:54 AM
Podsafe Music sites...

Also a lot are available by Google

note: Drop the artist a line, they really appreciate it...


posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 10:04 AM
Thanks Skeptic, I convinced the boys to put this project on the back burner till they get legal clarification on this, or just skip the clip. I told them they aren't rich enough for lawsuits, never mind gas to get to the next gig LOL.

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 10:33 AM
For the podsafe music network, at a minimum you do have to report back with the podcast name and date. It is "standard" accepted practice to also give the title and artist.

There is some amazing stuff out there folks!

Have a look around. There is PLENTY you can play legally. I do.

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 01:36 PM
Skeptic, so what would happen if a member used a 30 second or less clip as, say, an introduction? Would their podcasting priviledges be suspended on ATS? Would the podcast be deleted? Of course, if the copyright holder requested so, I would think ATS would comply, but I mean, what is the official internal policy? Should members not bother, and if they do, will there be problems for them on ATS Podcasting?

[edit on 12-10-2006 by Nygdan]

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 01:40 PM
I deal with images all the time in my work. Copyright is now implied even if it is not labeled. People often crop the copyright off the image and you should assume all images, both photo's and artwork, are copyrighted. You should never post without knowing for a fact it is correct to do so. Technically all these images of famous people produced by others used in avatars are in the gray zone and you are probably infringing. People get away with it because it is not worth pursuing. If you get an image from a website you should at the very least have an e-mail from them granting permission before using the image in your avatar. An avatar is a literal advertisement whether you gain financially or not. It's not the celebrity that is of concern. It is the photographer or artist who owns the rights to the image.
Photographers shoot nearly 400 shots for every commercially viable image produced. It's not unusual for an artist to spend 20 to 100 hours on a single illustration. When you steal one of these images you are stealing all the work that went into producing it. My wife is a photographer and she has to maintain about $50,000 worth of camera equipment and spends a fortune on developing labs and printing. I do a lot of CG work and I spend $10,000 or more a year on upgrading software and another $10,000 or so on keeping my computers up to snuff. These images just don't miraculously appear online.

I've notice ATS is quite liberal in this regard. The site I spend most of my time on (an artists site) won't allow avatars. I visit others who only allow your original photo's or artwork, which should be the rule on all boards. I've had a stolen image show up on the cover of a novel. It was stolen from a splash screen on a nationally syndicated radio website. I'll never see a dime and I spent 60 hours on that image. I earn about $50 and hour for my design work. You do the math.
Stealing is stealing !!!

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 01:53 PM
There have been several rulings on "avatars" throughout the years, beginning when some CompuServe forums allowed "personal icons" back in the day (I was one of the managers of the CompuServe "Computer Arts" forums when this happened).

The end result is that such items used by individuals has been clearly defined as "fair use", unless:
- The avatar is associate with a commercial venture (the member is selling something in their posts)
- The copyright holder feels the avatar use is offensive and requests removal.

In any event, long ago we decided to give a node in the direction of avatar restrictions by only displaying member avatars for logged-in board members. Guests do not see avatars (this decision is not currently related to bandwidth)... and fully 70% of all our traffic is guests.

Originally posted by Nygdan
Skeptic, so what would happen if a member used a 30 second or less clip as, say, an introduction?

We don't recommend that they do it, but short clips as underscore music (under a voice over) won't result in any action... unless you go crazy... judgement call at that point.

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 02:48 PM
I got a message directing me to this thread. In another topic thread I posted material from a book manuscript that I researched and authored to illustrate more completely part of the topic being discussed. I'm sort of puzzled now. Can I post words I created but did not publish? Can I post segments from one of my articles that has been published with one-time paid for use rights elsewhere on the web?

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 03:31 PM
SO - Sorry for taking this thread off topic. I think you are handling this in a reasonable manner. If I saw one of my images show up on an avatar, I would consider it a tribute that someone liked it. With images there is more to consider. If you print an image from the web and hang it in your home or office it has value. From the artists point of view you should have bought the print. You are enjoying the fruits of our labor so to speak. There is a school of thought that putting an image on your desktop is the same thing and I think avatars fall into this realm. It's to bad the laws are not more clearly defined. Avatars and Wallpaper should be exempt from this sort of madness. If you want to print and hang it, that is another matter. In the end the law seems to be "he who has the money wins". "Fair Use" will always be a gray zone. How many years? For what use? My Wife can't even have so much as a McDonald's sign in one of her photo's. All sign's are carefully removed, blurred or replaced in all images. The law's say she can use photo's of people at public events without a release. The reality is that people win law suit's daily even though it is legal to do.

This article is from Duke Law - It left me more confused than ever

If the attorneys don't know, who does?

posted on Oct, 12 2006 @ 03:34 PM

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
(I'm not an expert on this)

I believe the 30-second rule applies only if it's a non-commercial project... but it may have only been a "rule of thumb" where the RIAA choose not to take action, and not actual law.
("Fair use" typically applies for editorial efforts and not artistic efforts.)

Nor am I a expert here either in regards to the stringent laws of copyrighted material.
I can only share my personal and business experiences with you all in hopes it helps.
Being one who for many years had to pay both ASCAP and BMI annual fees for the
'rights' to use commercial and retail music/songs, I can assure you all that they (RIAA)
could care less if your Microsoft or a mere 'live-at-home' podcaster.

As far as I know (unless changed in the past several years) the 30 second rule still applies.
But I want to share a true story about playing music without the typical license's.

I have an associate that is a Nascar Race Announcer. He and his team will engineer in
music for 'fills' and 'teasers' thruout the individual races below their announcements.
One particular day while under a yellow 'caution' flag, they played several songs in their
entirety. About 15 minutes later there was a loud knock on their door and the RaceTrack
Manager looked frantic as he tells my friend "No more music,, no more music, I've got
RIAA in my office right now asking for our license's and threatening us with a lawsuit
if we play any more music untill we show him our license's"!

Long story short... even tho the track rarely played over 20 seconds of any music,
they still went ahead and leased the annual licenses for both BMI and ASCAP at a
tune of $15,000.oo (ASCAP) and $12,000.oo (BMI), and have been doing so each year since.
The sad thing is... they still rarely play more than 20 seconds of any song/music...

Years ago nite clubs were being targeted along the same vein, since most small clubs
can't afford to pay the annual leasing dues to BMI or ASCAP. Subsequently, many clubs
got shut down and went out of business.

A great article and explanation on ASCAP and BMI can be found below.

ASCAP and BMI Protectors of Artists or Shadowy Thieves?

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