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Books as props in videos.

 
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Anna
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:14 am    Post subject: Books as props in videos. Reply with quote

Using books as props in a video without reading them, will this be a copyright infringement? Sometimes the camera needs closeup so that the covers can be seen clearly.
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Anna,
Assuming that it will just be the covers of the books in shot, then this would not infringe copyright, firstly because only the titles of the works are likely to be shown and titles alone don't attract copyright, and secondly it is likely that the use would fall within the exception for incidental inclusion.

Indeed it seems probable that the new exception for quotation might even allow for a character in a video to actually read a small passage out loud, or for the camera to zoom in a small section to allow the viewer to read some of the text. However as there have been no court cases so far concerning this particular new exception, we have no real idea of how it might be interpreted by courts.
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Anna
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andy,

Thank you your advice.

But what if these books constantly appear before the camera and the unique design and font can be easily told. Will this still be OK?
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Anna,
If the cover features some artwork, then this may cause a problem if it is constantly in shot. The only defence may lie in the fact that you will be 'quoting' the cover but as I explained earlier, we have no real idea how the courts will treat the new quoting exception. You haven't mentioned why you want to constantly dwell on the book covers, but if it is in relation to anything in the video which might reasonably be thought of as review or criticism (of the books or the writers) then this could mean that section 30 will apply.

However if you don't think this will work as a justification, you might be better off contacting the publishers for permission to feature their book covers. They are most likely to be the owner of the copyright in any cover illustrations. Type faces alone are not infringed when they are used in the normal course of printing etc.

If you are concentrating on the book covers because of their distinctive design qualities, then you need to pay even greater attention to avoiding trade mark infringement. For example, say the books you want to feature are published by Penguin, then you need to be aware that several features. including the logo, are registered trade marks of Penguin Books. Something similar will apply with most publishers' logos, and house style. It would be quite a tall order to bring a successful suit for trade mark infringement due to the sort of use which you have described, but that doesn't mean that a disgruntled publisher won't try. If they were to allege passing-off, they might have an easier time convincing a court. So again if it appears that this might be an issue, ask for permission first.
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Anna
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andy,

Thanks again.

The book I'm talking about is the Bible. The video I'm going to make is Christian related, so it will constantly appear on the camera.

Most covers of the Bible are very simple, only several letters and logos. If I intentionally avoid logos, and zoom in to have closeup, would this be OK? Or do I need to change the unique font or other unique things to make it unidentifiable?
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Anna,

Of course there is no copyright in the Bible itself, and as you say, most versions of it will probably have fairly nondescript covers. It sounds as if you are interested in Bibles in general and not any one imprint in particular, in which case I think you can be relaxed about all forms of intellectual property rights including trade marks. If you do feature a number of different versions or editions, there is very little likelihood of either trade mark infringement or passing being an issue, because of the way no one publisher or imprint is likely to predominate.

I think you can safely proceed with your video without worry.
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Anna
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andy,

Please forgive me. But I still want to make sure whether it will be OK if i choose one particular version. Smile
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Anna,
Thanks for the clarification.
If you just want to feature one edition of the Bible, then you should pay attention to the trade mark aspect I mentioned earlier. This will mainly apply to the publisher's logo or imprint name, if they are visible. Using or displaying a trade mark, even in the course of business (ie if your finished video is to be sold) does not of itself necessarily infringe the trade mark. It is only if its use would confuse a consumer into thinking that your video originated from the publisher, for instance as a promotional or advertising video. And if the trade mark is not registered on respect of films and videos or entertainment, then the chances of your video infringing the mark are even less. The law on passing off is slightly different, and could be apply if your video was felt to damage the goodwill associated with the particular publisher's version of the Bible. This would not be in terms of any critical appraisal, more if your product was purchased instead of the publisher's product, so not very likely I suggest.
So to recap, copyright really shouldn't be an issue, firstly because very little on the cover of a Bible would be subject to copyright, and what was visible could almost certainly be used under the exception for review and criticism, and possibly quotation. If a trade mark is visible then it will not be infringed just by being included in the shot. However repeated or continuous portrayal of the trade mark might lead some viewers to conclude there was a link between the video and the publishers. To dispel this impression, you might need to include a brief visual or spoken disclaimer that your video is not authorised, sponsored or originated by the publisher. Alternatively, instead of a disclaimer, you could seek permission from the publisher.
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Anna
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andy,

Many thanks! I feel much clearer about this issue.
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