VirtualMV/Ethical issues/Copyright

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are exclusive rights given to owners for their creations. (Copyright 2009). It protects compilations of data and multimedia works, films being the moving images on a video or DVD.

For web develpment you will need to consider the following aspects

  1. Copyright on your original material and
  2. Copyright on that material of others, including
    1. Those you have permission to use (maybe supplied by your client)
    2. Those you have included from other sources (e.g. the web)
    3. Those your users post onto your web site

Original material

  • Copyright owners enjoy certain exclusive rights in relation to their creations. Your website will have copyright content on it and you should take measures to protect your rights by:
    • obtaining an assignment or licence of the copyright in the material created by your website designers so you can control future website designs and amendments
    • obtaining assignments of copyright or licences from third party consultants to use copyright material that they have created
    • displaying the copyright symbol (c), the name of the author, year of publication and terms of use, particularly on pages where users are able to download or copy material from your website
    • setting out in your general terms and conditions a statement that users of the website must obtain permission before copying, downloading or altering material from your website
    • ensuring that access to material that is not for general public use, is only available to password holders or only after payment of a fee and acceptance of specific terms and conditions.

The best way to avoid issues with copyright is to create your own original content.

  • Include (c) symbol and usage policy
  • When working with a client make sure your contract clearly identifies how ownership is to be handled (e.g. design, software (including the actual code), content)

Owners of films have the exclusive right to:

  • Copy their material
  • Issue copies for the public for the first time
  • Rent copies to the public
  • Play or show their material in public
  • Communicate their material to the public.

Although this is not a requirement, it clearly identifies your material by using the symbol, the name of the copyright owner and the first year of publication i.e. ©Raihania 2011.

Copyright in New Zealand lasts for the lifetime of the author plus fifty (50) years from the end of the year of when the author died.

Performers have some limited rights to control the recording and live transmission of their performances. It is advisable to have a Talent Release Form completed by your actors to clarify copyright issues with the commissioner.

Content from others

  • Your website might also contain or use third party copyright material which you do not own. You should take measures to protect yourself from infringing third party copyright rights by:
    • making sure you obtain licences to use and reproduce the copyright material before you place the material on your website
    • complying with any terms of use attached to the material
    • ensuring that if you link your website to third party websites, you only do so in accordance with their terms and conditions.
  • You should also protect yourself from liability if those using your website infringe someone else’s copyright (ie when posting material to your website) by:
    • stating in your terms and conditions that you maintain authority to use and remove any material as you see fit without obtaining permission, that you are not responsible for the **content of any posted material, and that under no circumstances are you authorising an infringement of copyright
    • requiring parties posting to your website to indemnify you for any loss arising from copyright infringement
    • ensuring that any infringing material is removed as soon as it is identified
    • providing statements limiting your liability, where applicable.
  • As a Web developer/ maintainer
    • Ask permission.
    • Check use policies
    • Acknowledge the copyright holder (in academia this is often done through citing and referencing)
    • Put disclaimer (particularly in a web site where others can add content - e.g. wiki)
    • Check your site regularly for additions and remove unauthorised content, or provide a mechanism for user reporting.

Can I use that?

Copyright - A flow chart poster from a research project Art at Risk: Copyright, Fair Dealings and Art in the Digital Age by Dr Susan Ballard and Pam McKinlay, 2010 - Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Copyright

In April 2011 the New Zealand Government passed the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011. This act amends the Copyright Act 1994 to provide content owners (Rights holders) of copyrighted works such as movies, TV shows and music with a quicker and easier way to penalise people infringing their copyright (from illegal downloading). Under this legislation, from the 11th of August 2011 rights holders can begin to monitor for Internet access which breaches their copyright, and to begin sending infringement notices for breaches of copyright from the 1st of September 2011. This change affects all users of all systems at NZ institutions (and companies ), including staff, students, casual users, students in residential villages, business on campus using the institutions internet access, irrespective of location.

A successful infringement allegation can see the institution being fined up to $15,000.00 per infringement with the potential of having the internet connection being cut for up to six months for all users.

Some guidelines to understanding the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 can be found at the links below:

(based on an EIT all staff email)

Case studies

Copyright attached to photographer

macaque monkey self portrait

Technically, in most cases, whoever makes the actual work gets the copyright. That is, if you hand your camera to a stranger to take your photo, technically that stranger holds the copyright on the photo, though no one ever enforces this. A story involving an award winning nature photographer, David Slater, who was in Indonesia in a national park. At some point, he left the camera unattended, and apparently a macaque monkey wandered over and took this hilarious self-portrait.

So here's the legal question: Who owns the copyright? Apart from the photo shown left, two other photos were submitted to and have a Carters copyright(see the reference). How has there been a legal transfer. The monkeys were unlikely to have sold or licensed the work. The assumption is that it's likely that the photographer, Slater, probably submitted the photos to the agency, and from a common sense view of things, that would make perfect sense. But from a letter-of-the-law view of things, Slater almost certainly does not hold the copyrights on those images, and has no legal right to then sell, license or assign them to Caters.


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