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uploading a video tutorial about a software

 
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imbelhassen
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:35 pm    Post subject: uploading a video tutorial about a software Reply with quote

Hi,

Is uploading a video tutorial about a software or an operating systems like Windows considered copyright infringement ? Do I need the permission of the software company in order to upload a video tutorial about their software on youtube or other video website ?

And can I monetize the videos ? I have a website where I selling softwares and electronics, and I want to advertise to my website through these tutorial videos, is that allowed ?
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi imbelhassen,

The general situation with using or demonstrating the use of a computer program in the way you outline is that it does not infringe copyright and forms part of what a legitimate owner of any software may do with the product he/she owns. Since you would not be copying the actual code which makes up the program, there is no copyright infringement. Even reproducing some of the graphics or logos on screen does not infringe because that forms part of the normal operation of the program, which is a permitted activity. However, most software comes with what is known as an End User Licence Agreement (EULA) which is deemed to form part of the conditions of sale of the product. You will no doubt be very familiar with these EULAs. You should carefully check to make sure that there is nothing in the EULA for the specific program(s) you wish to demonstrate which might prohibit such activities. For instance it is possible there may be some exclusion relating to the making of videos of the type you describe for commercial purposes. If you do find such a clause that is not the end of the story; they may be unfair terms which can be challenged, but you would need to get legal advice on that.

The only other area of intellectual property law which is involved is that of trade mark, since clearly you will have to use the name of the software to describe the purpose of the video. However, again this perfectly acceptable in law as long as the viewers of your video are not misled into thinking that your video is produced by or sponsored by the software manufacturer concerned. Since the aim of the video is to advertise your business, it should be clear that you are not pretending to be Microsoft or Adobe!

You mention that you sell software. If this is new software obtained from authorised distributors or the manufacturers themselves, you may be bound by certain terms and conditions, so you should also check any agreements relating to this. If you only deal in second-hand software, you need to be aware that although it is legal to transfer the original physical medium (say a CD or DVD) which holds the software, most EULAs forbid the transfer of any Certificates of Authenticity or activation codes. I know this has nothing to do with your original question, but by making your service more visible by airing the demonstration video, you may attract the scrutiny of the manufacturer!
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imbelhassen
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi AndyJ,

Thanks for your reply.

Shouldn't a video tutorial be considered as a Fair use case ? I mean it is a creative work !

Does this includes video tutorial of operating systems such as Windows, Linux or Android ..?
And if you get permission from a software company but since you are using Windows system do you need a permission for windows as well ?

Does this includes tutorials or repair for physical devices such as iphone ?

And finally if you take a picture that contain a for example a computer with a software running on it or with softwares icons on the desktop such as this pic : maxpixel.freegreatpicture( . )com/Computer-Screen-Imac-Apple-Laptop-Macbook-606763
do you need permission for that ?
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi imbelhassen,

Fair use is a US doctrine. If you are based in the USA then, yes, it is possible that the fair use doctrine might be helpful since making a video about software would probably be a transformative use which is one of the four factors a court would consider. However in the UK the majority of the exceptions involve what is known as fair dealing, and there is a fairly limited set of activities which fall into the fair dealing category. Possibly, demonstrating a piece of software might just fall into the 'review' category but I think it is doubtful, especially in view of the fact the video is intended to promote your business. And in any case as I mentioned in my earlier reply it does not infringe the copyright in a computer program to use it or demonstrate the use of it, so you don't need to rely a copyright exception. A copyright exception would be of no use if the problem lies in the EULA forbidding a certain course of action.

There is no difference as far as the law is concerned between an operating system and an application program that runs under the operating system, so you don't need permission.

The purpose of the video - as a tutorial or a 'how to' type of instruction - is not really relevant to the copyright issue. It may be relevant if there are specific terms about this in the EULA. Just to be clear, a EULA has nothing to do with copyright. It is contractual matter, and if you were to break a term of the EULA, the software company could only sue you for a breach of contract. That is not very likely to happen because many of the terms in a typical EULA might not withstand the close examination by a court. Repairing an iPhone should not involve any copyright issues.

And finally you do not need permission if you photograph a screen of a device which is displaying icons or similar provided that the reason for doing so was something other that just photographing the icons! So if you wish to demonstrate some function which involves activating an app via an icon, that is OK because firstly you are using the device in the normal way and secondly because showing the icons is inevitable and incidental to the process you want to demonstrate.

For the assistance of other readers, here is a clickable version of the link posted above. http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Computer-Screen-Imac-Apple-Laptop-Macbook-606763. The photographer in that case did not infringe any copyright, with the possible exception of reproducing the Apple logo. I say 'possible' because although I suggest that its inclusion is entirely incidental and therefore permitted under section 31 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, some could argue against such use. Either way I don't think Apple would sue anyone for doing this.
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imbelhassen
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi AndyJ,

Thanks for your reply.

A follow up question about the image in the link, I got it from the website and it is a creative commons license. Can I use it as my website background, or I need to make sure that the photographer has the permission to reproduce Apple logo ?
Or can I just cover up the logo part even if it is clear that the device in the image is an Apple product ?

I am not afraid of being sued, I just don't want to do anything illegal in the first place.
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi imbelhassen,

No I think you will fine using the Creative Commons licensed image as it is.
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