A little advice needed

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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hotmrw
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A little advice needed

Post by hotmrw » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:47 am

Hi each and all, I am hoping that someone could give me a little advice regarding a possible copyright issue, I am an expert user regarding many of the photo editing software's, EG: Photoshop, Gimp ETC ETC ETC, I have decided that I would like to create some video tutorials on how to best use all of the functions regarding the said software/s and sell them, however I am aware that there are companies already doing the same to what I would like to do, EG: to show how to correctly use the lasso in PS5, however my explanation regarding how to use will be almost identical to someone Else's explanation on how to use down to the simple fact our video tutorials are based on the operation of the same software? with the exceptions might I add of my own created video, my voice, my instructions, my images? where do I stand with this? any help would be greatly appreciated in advance.

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:39 pm

Hi Hotmrw
Facts cannot be subject to copyright. Instruction of the sort you refer to is largely a matter of fact. In other words, in order to achieve a particular objective, you are instructing a user to follow a sequence of actions. Although there may be several ways of achieving the same outcome by using one or two slightly different sequences, each method is basically a set of instructions which if followed correctly should lead to the same outcome irrespective of whether you tell someone the sequence or I do. Therefore there is virtually no creative component in telling someone how do something. The actual words and images you use to illustrate the instruction are what may make your work creative, and it is this element to which copyright, if it is to apply at all, will apply.
So as long as you do not consciously or unconsciously copy the commentary of another instructional video, you will not infringe their copyright. The biggest hurdle is the unconscious copying bit. Once you have heard someone else explain something in a particular way, it is sometimes inevitable that you will use similar words in your own instruction. So long as this is not too frequent, and largely occurs when it would not be possible to explain the actions any differently, again this should not be a problem.
Make your style of delivery 'yours'. Whether it's being chatty, humourous, serious, pedantic or flippant, if the commentary reflects your personality (or your preferred screen personality) and the words are your own, then you should be fine.
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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