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Ask Alex Reese Your Own Question
Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3424
Experience:  Experienced in intellectual property law
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We have a software that takes public and cable TV content (movies,

Customer Question

We have a software that takes public and cable TV content (movies, shows, news, etc..) and extracts various objects, then using those objects in a form of a library that is used as a reference point for our content... (If you think of a movie frame which might capture 100s of objects we could extract 20-80% of independent objects)... Based on previous consultations with various attorneys, they didnt see an issue with that.. (meaning we dont have to request to use their content) . Wanted to reconfrm.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.
Hello, in what way are you using the info that you extract? Are you displaying or distributing their content (text, images etc) in some manner? If you are just using information internally and not copying/distributing their copyrighted content (e.g. images, text, music) then it should be okay.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
let me give you an example... Lets say you watch news on TV... they are showing a car (Toyota), i'll extract that image from the video and show on my site picture of Toyota from News , and then all the similar cars that i came up with based on Toyota... People see the reference of Toyota from News and all the additional cars that i presented.
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.
You may have some copyright issues by displaying the original Toyota car image taken from the News broadcast. However, it may be considered "de minimus" use that is not substantial enough to be considered infringement because you are only using a portion of a single image (frame)....so in that case you are probably okay, but if you are taking a lot of images from the same broadcast, it could be considered an infringement of some sort. It depends on the content owner and how reasonable they are, but based on your example I would be surprised if there was an issue and if its just the car it would be hard for the copyright owner to even discover it in the first place.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wouldnt it qualify as Fair Use?
"To justify the use as fair, one must demonstrate how it either advances knowledge or the progress of the arts through the addition of something new. A key consideration is the extent to which the use is interpreted as transformative, as opposed to merely derivative." Since we are adding something new and we are using a very small fraction of the overall video... Lets say a person that appeared in the video...
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.
yes it could be fair use if you are using a very small portion of the overall work, like one image from a newscast....but the more images/content you display from that newscast, the further you get away from fair use. so if you are using a lot of content from one source, its not likely fair use. Also, you can't use a person's image/likeness (e.g. photo of a celebrity...or anyone else for that matter) for commercial purposes without permission.

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