Do You Really Own It? Copyrights in the Age of Cloud Computing


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Who really owns the material that you put onthe web? Stites & Harbison PLLC attorneys Mari-Elise Taube and Stephen Weyer help define what copyright is, what rights you do and do not have when is comes to the things you put on the web. This seminar also takes a look at how social media sights like Facebook and Twitter have increased the attention to copyright rules and regulations and the possibility of copyright infringement of mete rials used on the web.

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Do You Really Own It? Copyrights in the Age of Cloud Computing

  1. 1. Do You Really Own It?Copyrights in the Age of Cloud Computing By Mari-Elise Taube and Stephen Weyer Stites & Harbison PLLC
  2. 2. TO THE CLOUD!
  3. 3. AGENDA• “To the Cloud”• Copyright defined• Rights granted to copyright holder• Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media• The issues• How to protect your business
  4. 4. TO THE CLOUD…• “Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.” -- National Institute of Standards & Technology
  5. 5. EXAMPLES OF “THE CLOUD”• Web-based email like Gmail and Hotmail• Communication tools like Skype and gchat• Video sites like YouTube and Vimeo• Music-sharing sites like SoundCloud• Photo-sharing sites like Shutterfly• Blogging platforms like blogspot and wordpress• Storage space like Dropbox
  6. 6. WHAT DOES “THE CLOUD” DO?• Software as a service (SaaS)• File storage• File synchronization• File back-up• Sharing with multiple users
  7. 7. CLOUD COMPUTING CHARACTERISTICS• Broad network access• Mobility and flexibility• Reduced cost• Self-service• Increased storage• No downloads
  9. 9. THE BASICS• To be protected by copyright, a work must be an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression• Copyright vests upon creation of the work
  10. 10. COPYRIGHTS DO NOT PROTECT:• Ideas• Facts• Short phrases• Titles• Purely functional items
  11. 11. COMMON COPYRIGHTED WORKS• Photographs• Software• Websites• Blueprints & Plans• Advertising materials• Promotional videos• Training materials• Commercials• Invitations
  12. 12. EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS OF OWNER• To make copies of the work• To distribute copies of the work to the public• To transmit the work• To perform the work publicly• To display the work publicly• To create a derivative work
  13. 13. THE RULES OF OWNERSHIP• Normally, the author/creator owns copyright• Authors of a joint work are co-owners of the copyright in the work
  14. 14. EMPLOYEES VS. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS• Employer deemed author and owner as long as… – Control by the employer over the work – Control by employer over employee• Independent contractors usually own the copyright in their work
  15. 15. WRITE IT DOWN.• Written agreement will trump the default rules• Draft Ownership and Assignment Agreements• To be valid, transfer of ownership must be in writing and must be signed by the owner of the conveyed copyright
  16. 16. CONSIDERATIONS• Are the cloud and its components the subject matter of copyright?• Who owns the cloud?• Who owns data, software applications or other works created in the cloud?• Are there any fair use exceptions?• Is use by multiple devices permitted?• Can copyrighted works be backed up on the cloud and then transferred to another device?
  17. 17. SOCIAL NETWORKING• Informal marketing channels• Content posted to a remote site• Less care taken than a formal marketing channel• Allow users to post material• Cultivate customer goodwill
  18. 18. BIGGEST COPYRIGHT ISSUES IN SOCIAL MEDIA• Who owns the copyright in your posts, tweets, blogs, photos?• Do you have the responsibility to monitor your social media sites?
  19. 19. • You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:• For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.• When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).
  20. 20. • You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).• You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use.• … what’s yours is yours – you own your Content (and your photos are part of that Content)• Such additional uses by Twitter, or other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter, may be made with no compensation paid to you with respect to the Content that you submit, post, transmit or otherwise make available through the Services.• We may modify or adapt your Content in order to transmit, display or distribute it over computer networks and in various media and/or make changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to any requirements or limitations of any networks, devices, services or media.
  21. 21. • You are responsible for your use of the Services, for any Content you provide, and for any consequences thereof, including the use of your Content by other users and our third party partners. You understand that your Content may be rebroadcasted by our partners and if you do not have the right to submit Content for such use, it may subject you to liability. Twitter will not be responsible or liable for any use of your Content by Twitter in accordance with these Terms. You represent and warrant that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the rights granted herein to any Content that you submit.
  22. 22. • …Google acknowledges and agrees that it obtains no right, title or interest from you (or your licensors) under these Terms in or to any Content that you submit, post, transmit or display on, or through, the Services, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in that Content (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist). Unless you have agreed otherwise in writing with Google, you agree that you are responsible for protecting and enforcing those rights and that Google has no obligation to do so on your behalf.• …You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.
  23. 23. INFRINGEMENT• Liability for Direct Infringement – Reproduces, adapts, distributes, publicly performs or displays a copyrighted work without authorization• Liability for Contributory Infringement (1) knew or had reason to know of the infringing activity and (2) actively participated in the infringement
  24. 24. QUESTIONS TO ASK… Can you obtain a license?• Are there fair use exceptions?• Is use by multiple devices permitted?• Can copyrighted works be backed up on• the cloud and then transferred to another device?
  25. 25. TO ENSURE PROTECTION…• READ the terms and conditions for social media websites• If you allow users to post content on your company webpage, draft policies and procedures that comply with the Copyright Act• Draft a “notice and takedown” provision
  26. 26. HOW TO PROTECT COMPANY• Monitor your social media sites• Obtain copyright agreements with copyright holders and employees• Draft social media and email policies• When in doubt, seek legal assistance
  27. 27. Mari-Elise Taube Stephen Weyer© 2012 Stites & Harbison PLLC