TV Football

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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BlackKyle
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TV Football

Post by BlackKyle » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:31 am

I have loads of video footage from BBC,ITV, BSB (now defunct), Sky etc of my team going back as far as 1983/4 until early 2000s.

Someone has approached me and suggested we commercially produce a DVD of the 80's and 90's matches / highlights and speak to the club about marketing.

Before we get anywhere near there, what are the issues around old footage recorded from the TV being used as a commercial DVD, and who would be the best people to contact?

Any feedback welcome, many thanks.

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:44 am

Hi Kyle,
Copyright in broadcasts lasts for 50 years from the end of the year in which they are first transmitted, so all of your material is in copyright.
The first point of contact would be the broadcaster, in each case. They will be able to tell you whether they still own the rights, or whether they were simply ilcensed to broadcast the games once. If that is the case, the broadcaster should be able to put you in touch with the original rights owner. This is likely to be the SFA for Scottish games. In the case of BSB, you could contact Sky because they took over BSB's business.
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

almertens
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animation from TV football footage

Post by almertens » Tue May 15, 2012 9:08 am

I want to use an animation technique to isolate and adapt footage from TV football for animation.

I need to know if I would be breaching copyright to do this. I would make the animation so that the players were not identifiable and I will only be using 4-5 second clips at a time, none of the original source footage or audio would be seen/heard.

If this would infringe copyright, is there anything more I can do to move it within the law?

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Tue May 15, 2012 1:56 pm

Hi almertens,
Let's try to go through this step by step. I warn you in advance it's somewhat complicated.
By virtue of section 1 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, a broadcast is a copyright work. However in the case of a football match, the actual content ie the game itself, is not protected by either copyright or performance right. Contrary to what some people might think, football is not like a drama or a musical!
It is infringement of a copyright work to copy a substantial part of the work or to make an adaptation of it, which is how I think your process of animation would be termed.
16 The acts restricted by copyright in a work.
(1) The owner of the copyright in a work has, in accordance with the following provisions of this Chapter, the exclusive right to do the following acts in the United Kingdom—
(a) to copy the work (see section 17);
(b) to issue copies of the work to the public (see section 18 );
(ba) to rent or lend the work to the public (see section 18A);]
(c) to perform, show or play the work in public (see section 19);
d) to communicate the work to the public (see section 20);]
(e) to make an adaptation of the work or do any of the above in relation to an adaptation (see section 21);
and those acts are referred to in this Part as the “acts restricted by the copyright”.
Since we need to determine what 'substantial' may mean in this context, it is worth also quoting Section 17:
17 Infringement of copyright by copying.
(1) The copying of the work is an act restricted by the copyright in every description of copyright work; and references in this Part to copying and copies shall be construed as follows.
(2) Copying in relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work means reproducing the work in any material form.
This includes storing the work in any medium by electronic means.
(3) In relation to an artistic work copying includes the making of a copy in three dimensions of a two-dimensional work and the making of a copy in two dimensions of a three-dimensional work.
(4) Copying in relation to a film or broadcast includes making a photograph of the whole or any substantial part of any image forming part of the film or broadcast
(5) Copying in relation to the typographical arrangement of a published edition means making a facsimile copy of the arrangement.
(6) Copying in relation to any description of work includes the making of copies which are transient or are incidental to some other use of the work.

Although sub-section (4) refers specifically to making a photograph from a single still frame of a film or broadcast, it serves to indicate that a single frame can be considered substantial and thus, even if you only took 4-5 sec clips, it is likely that they would constitute infringement.

But next it is worth examining s 16 (1)(e) and s 21 on the subject of making an adaptation - which is what turning parts of the broadcast into an animation would be.
If we look at s 21 we see that the making of an adaptation of a broadcast is not included (possibly because no-one could conceive of such a thing) and therefore would not be an infringement.
21 Infringement by making adaptation or act done in relation to adaptation.
(1) The making of an adaptation of the work is an act restricted by the copyright in a literary, dramatic or musical work.
For this purpose an adaptation is made when it is recorded, in writing or otherwise.
(2) The doing of any of the acts specified in sections 17 to 20, or subsection (1) above, in relation to an adaptation of the work is also an act restricted by the copyright in a literary, dramatic or musical work.
For this purpose it is immaterial whether the adaptation has been recorded, in writing or otherwise, at the time the act is done.
(3) In this Part “adaptation”—
(a) in relation to a literary work, other than a computer program or a database, or in relation to a dramatic work, means—
(i) a translation of the work;
(ii) a version of a dramatic work in which it is converted into a non-dramatic work or, as the case may be, of a non-dramatic work in which it is converted into a dramatic work;
(iii) a version of the work in which the story or action is conveyed wholly or mainly by means of pictures in a form suitable for reproduction in a book, or in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical;
(ab) in relation to a computer program, means an arrangement or altered version of the program or a translation of it;
(ac) in relation to a database, means an arrangement or altered version of the database or a translation of it;
(b) in relation to a musical work, means an arrangement or transcription of the work.
(4) In relation to a computer program a “translation” includes a version of the program in which it is converted into or out of a computer language or code or into a different computer language or code.
(5) No inference shall be drawn from this section as to what does or does not amount to copying a work.
I have to admit that I don't know if this categorically allows you to turn a broadcast football match into an animation or series of animations. On the one hand making a copy of the broadcast (other than for the purely domestic reason of time shifting) infringes, but on the other hand, making an adaption of the original would appear not to infringe. There are other provisions in the act, such as for example s 28A shown below, which would appear to permit, in certain cases, the intermediate copying similar to what you would need for you to produce the animation, itself apparently a lawful act (as in sub section (b):
28A Making of temporary copies
Copyright in a literary work, other than a computer program or a database, or in a dramatic, musical or artistic work, the typographical arrangement of a published edition, a sound recording or a film, is not infringed by the making of a temporary copy which is transient or incidental, which is an integral and essential part of a technological process and the sole purpose of which is to enable—
(a a transmission of the work in a network between third parties by an intermediary; or
(b) a lawful use of the work;
and which has no independent economic significance.
The obvious flaw in this argument is that broadcasts are not one of the categories of work to which this section applies, so it is perhaps only of inferential value.
It will be interesting to see if I can find any case law which supports this construction, but at present I'm not aware of any. If there is none then you are still in an uncertain area of the law and if this was to be a potentially lucrative enterprise I would advise you to get (expensive) legal opinion on the subject.
Out of interest, under US law, their doctrine of fair use already allows for much greater flexibility where so-called transformative works are concerned. However, that doesn't really help you, here in Britain.
Of course another approach which avoids the uncertainty I have mentioned, is to contact the broadcaster to see if it is possible to get permission to do what you want to do. The down side to this is that the broadcaster will have had a contractual relationship with the FA in order to screen the match in first place, and although that has nothing to do with copyright (because the game itself is not subject to copyright) the contract may tie the broadcaster's hands over any further exploitation issues and they may have to refer the matter back to the FA. Only they will be able to answer that question.
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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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Tue May 15, 2012 10:20 pm

Just a quick follow up on a point I raised in my earlier reply.
I was concerned that in order to make the animation as you described, you would have to make a temporary or intermediate copy of the broadcast from which, no doubt through the use of some software package, you could convert the selected clips into animations. At first sight, making this copy would appear to be an infringing act even though the making of an adaptation (that is, the animated version) would appear not to infringe.
I then pointed out that s 28A would seem to overcome the intermediate copy problem, except that it specifically didn't cover broadcasts. At the time I didn't want to make the posting any more complicated than it already was and so I didn't go into the issue of the EU Infosec Directive (2001/29) which was the reason behind the creation of s 28A.
Perhaps I should have done because I have now found a specific case, known as ITV Broadcasting Ltd v TV Catchup Ltd, in which this particular section and the fact that it omits broadcasting was discussed. Furthermore the judge in that case, Mr Justice Floyd, found (at paras 113 - 121 of the judgment) that in fact s 28A should be construed as applying to broadcasts, in order to bring the provisions of the InfoSec Directive fully into effect in UK law.
So that significantly strengthens my view that what you propose would not infringe copyright in the broadcast(s) of football matches. For the avoidance of doubt, I do not think the same would necessarily be true for other broadcasts where the actual content was subject to 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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