How to Copyright a Video

How to Copyright a Video

For most individuals and businesses, videos are undoubtedly a core element in using the internet and other digital platforms. It is important that you understand the legal rules for copyrighting videos. This blog post will provide some basic guidance about video copyrights, fair use and creative commons.

What Is Copyright and What Does It Cover?

When an original work is created in a physical medium, the person automatically owns the copyright to that work. In specific ways, this provides the copyright owner with an exclusive right to use the work.

In addition to protecting the owner, video copyright laws also provide appropriate incentives that allow sharing content and access for everyone on multiple platforms. These are the primary types of creative work that are covered by copyright laws:

  • Dramatic Works — such as musicals and plays
  • Computer Software and Video Games
  • Musical Compositions and Sound Recordings
  • Audiovisual Works — such as online videos, movies and television shows

Why Copyright Your Video?

Copyrighting is a form of intellectual property law that is designed to protect authorship of original works. The copyright owner enjoys several valuable rights — using, reproducing and selling copies; creating derivative works; transmitting work via other mediums; and selling or passing rights to another person.

Even though copyright laws have applied to video works for many years, nonprofessional videos were rarely distributed broadly — and the importance of copyright protection was often ignored or overlooked. With more widespread distribution of online videos via YouTube and individual websites, a video copyright owner can no longer afford to ignore the practical benefits afforded by copyright law protection.

How to Copyright Your Video

Your video is copyrighted as soon as it is created and fixed in a copy such as online or on a DVD. In the United States, all elements of the video are protected by one copyright. According to the U.S. Copyright Office, you should place a statement of copyright ownership on or near the title screen — use either the word copyright or the symbol. Additionally, the copyright ownership statement should be included on any video package.

To handle the details of a copyright statement, it is prudent to work with video experts such as Video Caddy. However, you should also plan on talking to local legal experts that are experienced in copyright laws in the United States or other countries where your video will be distributed. The copyright laws are frequently addressed in multiple pieces of legislation — in the U.S., the Copyright Act of 1976, the Piracy and Counterfeiting Amendments Act of 1982 and the Digital Millennium Act of 1998 are just three examples of how complicated video copyright protection can be.

Copyright and the Internet

Material (such as online videos) found on the internet is subject to copyright protection. Licenses such as Creative Commons are a popular way to govern how online images and videos are legally distributed. Always check for licensing restrictions if you want to make or distribute copies of work that you find online — when there is no license, don’t use the work until the copyright owner gives you permission.

What Is Fair Use?

Usage that is covered under the concept of “Fair Use” (also called fair practice and fair dealing) can allow reuse of copyright-protected material without the copyright owner’s permission in some specific circumstances — for example, as part of news reporting in many cases. The “Fair Use” rules differ widely from one country to another. This can be an extremely complex part of copyright law, and legal expertise is advisable.

What Is Creative Commons?

A Creative Commons (CC) license allows creative works to be distributed on a limited basis without sacrificing the copyright owner’s legal protections. This license is not designed to be a “how to get around copyright” strategy — in fact, it is firmly built upon the underlying foundation of a copyright. For videos, it generally establishes a framework for someone using a video in a non-commercial way so that a Creative Commons license-holder cannot receive compensation. Always read the complete license terms to see what kind of uses are permitted.

What Cannot Be Copyrighted?

Some things cannot be copyrighted — processes, facts, ideas, names and titles are five examples that are not subject to copyright protection. This is why multiple books and movies can legally have the same title. But copyrighting is also not your only form of legal protection. In addition to copyrights, you should review whether trademarks and patents are relevant to your legal strategy.

Video Caddy would be honored to help you integrate a better level of copyright protection into your video production activities. To share your thoughts, please leave a comment below or use the social media buttons to pass this article along to friends and colleagues.

– VideoCaddy

7 Simple Stop Motion Animation Ideas

7 Simple Stop Motion Animation Ideas

If you are looking for a clever way to help your business stand apart from the competition, stop motion animation technology is an excellent place to start. Savvy businesses are using stop motion animation to showcase their services and products — it is a unique and effective marketing strategy!

What is stop motion animation? The basic concept involves capturing one or two frames and then moving objects before repeating the process. This creates an illusion of movement.

Stop motion animation techniques have their origins in the earliest cinema era, about 1897. However, the technology has been advanced and used in successful contemporary cinema projects such as Claymation and puppet-based animation.

To give you a better understanding of this exciting business development strategy, here are seven simple ideas from Video Caddy.

  1. Telling a Story — Your story consists of a series of images with action moving from one scene to another. The best place to start is a thoughtful combination of brainstorming, a detailed script and storyboarding.
  2. Background Drawings — Don’t forget to include a background. It can be stationary, simple or complex. But even the simplest background can help with visualizing the motion you want to capture.
  3. Include Multiple Action — This is like having multiple characters in a movie. Multiple plots and action sequences provide an appealing sense of variety.
  4. Keep the Motion Simple — “Keeping it simple” means that you don’t need complicated movement to make stop animation work. Adding simple lines might be enough to convey motion in many cases.
  5. Camera Angles Should Be Varied — Position the stop motion video cameras so that different angles and perspectives are used throughout. Your detailed advance planning should never overlook where the cameras will be. For example, think about how to incorporate both wide-angle shots and close-ups.
  6. Humanize Expressions — Expressing thoughts, actions and emotions is important. Adding audio (just music is enough in some cases) is a great way to do this. Narration can also be an effective strategy to humanize everything.
  7. Vary Speeds of the Action — As in “real life,” your stop motion animation video should include different speeds depending on the individual story elements. To avoid overlooking action speeds, make sure your script covers this important timing detail.

Detailed editing is an inescapable part of the recipe for a successful stop motion animation video. Software like Windows Movie Maker, IMovie and Final Cut Express will be helpful. Videography experts like Video Caddy can also prove to be indispensable partners during your editing phase. Remember to think carefully about adding music and narration during the editing process.

Do Stop Motion Animation Techniques Really Work for Businesses?

You should not overlook the value of social media in jump-starting your business. The first goal in marketing is to make customers aware of your product. In today’s visual business world, cost-effective marketing opportunities now include YouTube and other videos. In one impressive example, a business stop motion animation video for John Lewis Home Insurance received over six million views. Of course, this particularly effective video required three weeks of hard work by a team of 50 people.

You can (and should) do this! Do you know how to make a stop motion animation video? If you need help at any point, Video Caddy is always available. Let us know what you think by leaving comments below or sharing your thoughts with your personal and business networks by using the share buttons.

– VideoCaddy