November 17, 2010

"The Right to Defend One's Copyright"

The British Railway Series: "The Ghosts of Engines Past" has now been out for a week - and the views have mounted very quickly, as have the comments. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my regular viewers on Youtube for their support, and interest, it's very much appreciated.

Something that was brought to my attention early this week, was a Youtube user who re-uploaded one of my trailers. Now, aside from the point that this is essentially stealing, and that certain unsavoury comments were being posted on said video - the point the user was trying to get across was "...I bet he thinks its".

And he was absolutely right - it IS copyrighted. But unfortunately for him, he missed a slight trick. In fact, many Youtube users miss this very important piece of factual information, so to avoid further mishaps (and to save everyone the trouble of looking it up), I thought I'd explain why my series is copyrighted, and in what way it is.

You see, in the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland), copyright is exactly that - a right. This sentence in particular, from the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office:

"Copyright protection in the UK is automatic, so there is no registration system, there are no forms to fill in, and no fees to pay".

This is exactly the point. As long as you can prove you are the original creator of any said piece of work - you automatically have a copyright on that work. There is no registration process because anything you create can automatically have a © applied to it.

With regards Youtube - which is a global website - bear this statement in mind;

"Copyright material created by UK nationals or residents is protected in each country which is a member of the conventions by the national law of that country. Most countries belong to at least one of the conventions, including all of the Western European countries, the USA and Russia".

Remembering of course, that Youtube (and its parent company, Google) operate out of the United States, so they must comply with British Copyright law when a genuine copyright complaint is made.

So to sum up - if you are a citizen of the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland), and someone re-uploads your work, or a portion of your work, on Youtube, without permission, you can claim using the DMCA form found on Youtube, and quote the above two statements, knowing that anything you create is subject to copyright. It is your right: and it is also your right to enforce the law should it be breached.

But this comes with a word of warning - do not take this lightly. If your work uses anyone else's copyright - such as a re-dub of a favourite program, or music for which you cannot possibly have copyright permissions - then any claim may result in the termination of your own account.

For more information, go to the Intellectual Property office Website, found here.

Until next time!

© Simon A.C. Martin ;)

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