We require Users of the VDROP app (the “Application”) to record and deliver original Drops that do not infringe the intellectual property rights of any third party. Here’s some important info for our users on what materials you can and can’t share on the App.
Copyright is a system of rights that protects the authors and owners of original works of art, music, film, design, sound recordings and dramatic performance, and other mediums (each a “Work”).
Copyright exists to protect authors, musicians, writers, filmmakers and record producers, and prevents unauthorized use or exploitation of their Works. A copyright owner has the ‘exclusive right’ to use their Works in different ways (often disclaimed as “All Rights Reserved”), but can grant permission to others to use, transform or make money from it.
Copyright is considered an ‘automatic’ right that attaches to a Work upon creation and does not need to be registered.
Copyright lasts for the period of the author’s life, plus a period of time after the author’s death (this period varies between state to state but is often around 50-70 years for newly created works).
The Berne Convention has 167 member states and is an international treaty that helps maintain and govern international copyright laws (http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/text.jsp?file_id=283698).
To upload a ‘substantial part’ of a Work without permission from its owner may be considered copyright infringement. What is considered “substantial” depends on the work and the part being used; it might be a few seconds of audio, or even a single frame from a film, but this could still infringe copyright.
This is an issue with real ramifications for VDROP users–especially for AIFs and Organizations who making a commercial gain from uploaded Drops and Users paying for a unique, original video from their nominated AIF.
Uploading a Work as part of a Drop without permission could attract an infringement claim by the owner, who may ask you to remove the Drop, or even commence legal action to recover a fee for using their content. This could occur even if you have given credit to the original owner, you own a copy of the Work (a CD or DVD or digital file), or you have made a “copyright disclaimer”. You are responsible for your uploads, and any legal consequences of not clearing these Works.
Some possible examples of copyright infringement in the realm of VDROP include:
We want you to be as creative as possible in producing engaging Drops for your fans, and understand that other people’s songs, photos and video footage can spark new inspiration alongside your own original content. As such, we urge you to connect with copyright holders before you use their material, and obtain written permission or a licence to use their works. VDROP cannot assist you in finding the original copyright owner, and we cannot grant any licences in uncleared content that you have uploaded. It is your sole responsibility to obtain any and all of the appropriate licences, so you may need a lawyer to help cover all your bases.
Finding rights-holders can be a time-consuming and expensive process, even in the Internet age. VDROP are supportive of the Creative Commons (CC) movement, and encourage the freedom in content that CC offers compared to traditional copyright measures. Creative Commons allows copyright owners to permit other people to reproduce, share and copy their work (sometimes on condition of giving proper ‘attribution’ or credit) without having to grant express permission for every use.
CC material is everywhere–you can filter your SoundCloud or YouTube searches to find original music and videos under CC licence, or find CC-licenced content on Flickr and advanced Google Image searches (select ‘free to use, share or modify, even commercially’ under ‘Usage Rights’).
It is important to read the conditions of any licence purporting to be Creative Commons–you may still be restricted from using the content in a commercial context, and you may still be required to give credit to the copyright owner.
Content that is not subject to copyright restrictions, or is out of the copyright period is referred to as being in the Public Domain. Public Domain works are mostly free to use, share, copy and commercialise without need for attribution or licence from the original author or copyright owner.
A rights-holder can waive (most of the) copyright in their works in certain situations, via declaration or labeling their works with a Creative Commons CC0 ‘No Rights Reserved’ affirmation. Like CC material, Public Domain works can be found through advanced searches and places like the Internet Archive. While copyright can never be entirely removed from works in every jurisdiction, using Public Domain material is the best way to avoid problems in producing Drops.
If you are a copyright owner and believe your work has been infringed via a Drop or any other upload on our Services, you (the “Complainant”) may file a copyright notice through the VDROP web form. Upon receipt of this notice, we will comply with applicable laws and remove allegedly infringing content while the dispute is resolved between the Complainant and the relevant User. VDROP will comply with all applicable laws in receiving and forwarding a counter notice to the Complainant.
We maintain a strict policy in relation to User accounts found to be repeat copyright infringers, and reserve the right to terminate an account where multiple notices of alleged copyright infringement have been received in relation to that account. Termination of accounts is at VDROP’s sole discretion.
To prevent the risk of trade mark infringement claims, VDROP recommends to Users of VDROP, especially AIFs, that it removes all trade marks that may be seen on clothing, products or other items or otherwise visible in a Drop unless the User has an express authority or licence to display that trade mark to the public (i.e. the trade mark belongs to a sponsor). Trade marks can include logos, slogans, brand names, pictures or other symbols owned by traders to distinguish their goods and services from that of another trader.