Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › License agreement before download
May 28, 2008 at 1:56 AM #40022TheDVshowParticipant
Anyone who sends a video file to a client ( or potential client) over the internet for review knows that their hard work is now “in the wild” waiting for anyone to copy. Anyone can now capitalize on any ideas your video contains. Protection doesn’t exist.
Now with the help of this small little script you can now set the terms of usage straight before a client downloads your videos. It displays a license agreement before it lets the visitor download the file. You can restrict usage, viewing audience, establish a non-disclosure – if they don’t agree to the terms- the download simply doesn’t happen.
I recently sent a customized corporate demo video to a client through email. They refused the job. I later found out they showed a competitor the sample I sent. MY COMPETITOR copied the same angles and shots IN SEQUENCE, planted duplicate looking actors within shots AND made the video look exactly the same for less! My head hearts from all the banging against the wall wishing I knew of this script earlier.
From now on no more gentlemen’s agreements. Remember the term No shoes, No service? I say No Sign, No See!
Here is a direct link to the page if above links do not work:
May 28, 2008 at 2:25 AM #172214AnonymousInactive
the link you gave for a download doesn’t even work…
May 28, 2008 at 5:06 PM #172215AnonymousInactive
You do know you can file legal action against the client & the other producer, right? They didn’t violate your video copyright, but it sounds like they violated your script’s copyright. Of course you’d need to hire a lawyer to have any chance at winning. But you should be able to sue for your projected fee, court costs & perhaps a penalty.
So far as getting an “I agree” on some virtual form, it wouldn’t have a significant impact on your ability to sue for the behavior you describe. I’m not convinced it would have any impact on copyright violations at all. Once you mark your work with a copyright, year & owner, you are as protected as you’ll ever be. The only advantage a virtual agreement provides is the defendant can’t claim they didn’t know it was copyrighted. Which they couldn’t claim if it was marked to start with. So all you’ll really accomplish is annoying your potential clients. Crooks & swindlers don’t magically stop because some box is checked.
So get real. A thief is a thief, maybe the internet makes it easier. But that “potential client” broke the law and they knew they were doing it. They just know they can get away with it because you aren’t going to do anything about it. If you don’t like, stop dealing with criminal clients. Or take them to civil court. But insisting that a thief promise not to steal is truly an exercise in futility.
May 29, 2008 at 3:30 PM #172216TheDVshowParticipant
Some excellent points.
If there is not a copyright notice within your video is your work still copyrighted? or is there an “assumed” copyright?
If your work is not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office is your work “legally” copyrighted?
If there is no copyright notice and no registration who is to say you produced the video? Who is to say it’s yours? What is the judge going to think?
We produce another podcast called The Law and Video Podcast (http://www.lawandvideo.com) where we talk about this very subject on occasion. It is a sticky and difficult area where you have to have your i’s dotted and T’s crossed going through the legal rake if pursuing action when something like this happens. I think we’re going to get into this on the next show.
In the meantime, the script mentioned outlines the Terms of Usage. It doesn’t copyright your work in any way. It simply records an agreement between two parties. A record that can weigh heavily against an infringement case as would a registered copyright. Sure, it could annoy a client but in my opinion it’s telling the client you’re serious about protecting your (and their) work.
Throwing a video into the wild seems VERY unprofessional to me after this experience.
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