Is the news copyrighted?

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Is the news copyrighted?

Post by cindylin »

I noticed that only creative work with originality can be copyrighted. For some news videos, like this: can it also be protected by copyright? It just recorded the fact, but it is sold on the website at a price starting at 50 EURO. If I use short clips(like 4seconds) of such videos, to clarify the pandemonium of the society. Is this a fair use? How to fair use such news?
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Post by AndyJ »

Hi cindylin
You need to differentiate between the 'news' which is probably fact and therefore not able to be protected by copyright, and the medium by which the news is reported, say in a newspaper story or a TV video report. Both of these methods of reporting entail creativity on the part of the journalist or cameraman in the way they bring you the news, and it is this part which is protected by copyright.

The law in most countries does provide a certain amount of latitude in the re-use of someone else's news reporting - whether that is is called fair use in the US system or fair dealing under the UK law is not really important, as both exceptions stem from an international agreement on copyright known as the Berne Convention. Article 1 paragraph 8 of the convention says; "The protection of this convention shall not apply to news of the day or to miscellaneous facts having the character of mere items of press information". Article 10bis then goes on to permit signatories to the treaty to determine their own rules about how news articles etc may or may not be freely reproduced. In the UK this is set out in Section 30 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988:
(2) Fair dealing with a work (other than a photograph) for the purpose of reporting current events does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that (subject to subsection (3)) it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.

(3) No acknowledgement is required in connection with the reporting of current events by means of a sound recording, film or broadcast where this would be impossible for reasons of practicality or otherwise.

and in the USA the relevant law is § 107 of the Copyright Act 1976
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
Hopefully that gives you some idea of when either fair use or fair dealing might apply. If you do not live in either the UK or USA, you should check what your national law says on the subject, although the news reporting exception is pretty much universal.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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