Friday, 12 November 2010


Week 7's lecture was on copyright.

Copyright, Design & Patents Act 1988

Copyright laws are in place because they protect an individual's intellectual property.

You are infringing copyright law if you make beneficial use or exploit material that belongs to somebody else - without their permission.

Any initial ideas you bring to the floor aren't protected. Copyright laws only come into force when they start to be put into practice.

Why should we respect the laws?

- Without this protection, journalism may never have flourished.

- Maintains the material's exclusivity and therefore its value.

- Works both ways: you can't steal intellectual property anymore than anybody can steal yours.

- Ignoring the laws will cost you money and a whole lot of stress...and perhaps your career!

Copyright Law In Practise

Ian's Aston Martin VT, in which he used...

1. Archive footage of an Aston Martin factory
2. James Bond film clips
3. James Bond theme music

On the surface, all three potentially infringe copyright laws but none actually do. Here's why...

i. Number 1 already belonged to the BBC as part of their library.
ii. Numbers 2 and 3 were covered as the VT coincided with the release of a Bond movie. During the promotion of movies, news corporations have a window of three weeks when they can legally use clips/music from the new release. Luckily the sale of Aston Martin came within this window.

It would usually cost up to £2,000 to use this sort of film clip.

BUT we should be aware that material is often lifted, though only to a point.

Rivals regularly 'steal' stories from one another. This is known as 'fair dealing'.


1. Must be attributed (i.e. - 'x' told News of the World...)
2. Must be in the public interest to a degree
3. Must be fair and mustn't go 'bigger' than the original story. For example, don't give any more detail than what the original publication did. You can only go bigger by doing your own unique follow-up.

You are also exempt from copyright law when you use material for purposes of comment and review. For example, it is fine to run clips in obits involving the individual that has recently passed.

BUT photos are never eligible for fair dealing.

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