Is a collection of works a derivative of those works?

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keith_12345
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Is a collection of works a derivative of those works?

Post by keith_12345 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:43 pm

Is a collection of works a derivative of those works? If I only used quotation from Creative Commons texts in a video, am I making a derivative of those texts? Does my video need to be more or less original than that for me to claim copyright on the work? How can I use quotations from Creative Commons texts in a video so I can claim copyright on the video?

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:00 pm

Hi keith,

Merely quoting something is not really creating a derivative work. The sorts of thing which are classed as derivative works are translations into another language, or taking the whole of another work and adding something to it, such as setting a poem to music, or adding colour to a black and white image, or in the famous case of Marcel Duchamp's <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Marc ... .O.O.Q.</a> a moustache.

As for what would constitute original creativity on your part, basically anything which could be said to emanate from your mind should be sufficient. Clearly if you are an artist of Duchamp's standing, just a mere scribble is all that is necessary. And in any case the copyright in a video would almost certainly exist from the outset, and belong to you as the maker, because the creative element is the filming and editing which you have facilitated, That is why in the case of a feature film, the director, script writer and composer will share the copyright, based on each one's individual contribution, even though in strict terms only the producer and director are the 'authors' of the film itself.

When using material released under Creative Commons licences, be careful about abiding by the licence terms, so for instance if the Image no derivatives term has been applied, you should not make a derivative work from it, but it is still perfectly acceptable to quote the item, either whole or in part.
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keith_12345
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Post by keith_12345 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:39 am

If I read out a portion of a Wikipedia article in a video and I was sitting in front a green screen background, or had the portion on screen and I read it out, and that was the only thing I said in the video, would that be a derivative? Should I attribute the material to Wikipedia in the main part of the video and then do a proper attribution in the description or credits? I probably shouldn't read it out as if a I had written it, even if I did a proper attribution in the description or credits - or would that be OK? Which would be better for the attribution- description, credits or both?
Sorry for all the questions!

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:14 pm

Hi Keith,

No need to apologise, copyright can be complicated, and derivative works are among the more complicated aspects.

Having said that, the word 'derivative' is not used in the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (it uses the word adaptation) and we have US copyright jurisprudence to thank for introducing the term derivative. However most people understand them to mean much the same thing in this context.

So turning to your specific question, I suppose that reading out an extract from Wikipedia might constitute derivation, but more likely it would be seen, under UK law at least, as 'performing' a work, as described in Section 19 of the CDPA. This is something which would normally need the permission of the copyright owner, but since we are talking about something issued under a Creative Commons licence, permission would not be necessary in this instance.

As for attribution, it would be perfectly acceptable to leave this until the closing credits, unless you wished to make it clear to the viewer where the reading was being taken from, in which case citing the source might form part of the introduction to the reading. It is really more of an artistic or presentational judgement, rather than a legal issue. I think it is generally safe to assume that people and organisations who release material under CC licences (or the OGL mentioned in your other thread) intend for their stuff to be reused and won't get too petty about the fine detail. Generally they are motivated by altruism rather than any wish to make a financial gain from their work. Therefore any reasonably respectable re-use by others is going to be acceptable.
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keith_12345
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Post by keith_12345 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:47 pm

If I incorporated public domain images, my own comment, quotations from Wikipedia articles and perhaps other things into a video, would that video be a derivative? How can I use quotations from Wikipedia articles in a video without making a derivative? Do I need to incorporate lots of things together into one video?
If I put lots of works together to make a video, is that a derivative of those works?
Sorry again!

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Post by AndyJ » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:32 am

Keith,

Once again you are making this too complicated. A derivative work is one which uses the whole or a substantial part of a pre-existing copyright work. It has nothing to do with how much or how little is added, and everything to do with the amount of the original which has been used. If you make a work which comprises elements from a number of sources you are likely to have created an original work by virtue of having made creative choices about what to include or leave out. The result may be a compilation or a collage or a medley or any number of descriptive names, but it won't be a derivative work if it doesn't contain enough of each of the components to infringe their copyright.
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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