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Julian Edelman doesn't tend to get the credit and respect he deserves around the league, but one former player took notice in a recent ESPN segment, putting him ahead of some notable names which created some controversy.

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ATTENTION: Uploading Animated GIFs of Plays, etc. In Signatures, etc.

Discussion in 'The Help Desk' started by Ian, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. Hammer of Thor

    Hammer of Thor PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hey, Pash needs to feed his family too now that he's no longer leading the Brady appeal..... ;)
     
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  2. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    I was one of the first fan sites back in '97 posting video clips of game highlights which prompted my first FEDEX from them, which coincidentally came two days after the Hartford Courant wrote an article about the evolution of fan sites and mentioned mine and one other one. So I got to be excited about that one for basically a day before they rained on that parade :cool:

    As it was explained to me the companies that broadcast the games pay hundreds of millions of dollars for the rights to air it and because of that large fee, they own the footage. So the issue is if people are capturing clips and re-posting them, using that footage gains a site popularity based off of having those clips, which they (I) didn't have permission to post because I didn't pay a licensing fee for it.

    So I get it, and they shut down a bunch of other sites who also started doing the same thing. Then the same thing happened at one point with gif clips, and then it slowed down and any policing has almost been non-existent in recent years until recently. But obviously they're watching and cracking down again, which is why several sites saw their Twitter accounts suspended recently and I'm sure they're probably not done yet.
     
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  3. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Pro Bowl Player

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    In addition to membership donations, I suggest we add an additional fund to hire Jeffrey Kessler to end this issue.

    We could probably get enough donations to hire him for about 6 minutes if everyone puts in a 100 dollars. ;)
     
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  4. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

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    Just to chip in, fair use is a doctrine with some guidelines. The copyright holder owns all rights and if he chooses to sue, the user needs to prove that fair use applies. This is obviously not a favorable situation and reading some guidelines and deciding you "have" fair use is misleading.
     
  5. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    It's the same thing with photographs. People say just because it's on the internet people should be free to use them, and they aren't. People forget the photos wouldn't exist if people didn't take them and put them out there, and people usually have to have a license, or at least permissions, in order to use them. You can't just grab a photo and throw it on your site and have it be O.K., you have to have permission.

    Photographers are paid by Getty, USA Today, AP, etc. for their work and you have to pay a monthly fee to have access to them. It's irritating to see a lot of other sites pop up that grab everything illegally and people think they're great, not realizing what the rest of us go through to try and do things the right way just to stay within the guidelines.

    I'm by no means a copyright expert, but I pushed a lot of limits early on and 15+ years has taught me what you can and can't get away with legally. I'm a lot older now and married, have kids, and work full-time and like everyone else, I have zero money to hire a lawyer to be able to fight a battle with a billion dollar corporation. But believe me, "fair use" is limited and with it comes the requirement of at least crediting the original creator of the work to at least have a shot of using it and if you look around, very few of the of the people breaking the rules ever do. But the internet is millions of times larger than it was when I started doing this, so companies and leagues tend to pick and choose their battles now.
     
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  6. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't know about that. I'm not a lawyer, plus I'm not even an American, so I may be using a completely different interpretation of these things. But FWIW:

    Fair Use Or Infringement? NFL Sports GIF Fight Raises Legal Questions For Deadspin, SB Nation


    However, one of the most significant cases so far is that of Stephanie Lenz, who in 2007 videotaped her baby dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” earning herself a takedown notice from Universal Music Group.

    Lenz told YouTube, which initially took the video down, that she would not back down and reposted it. After the case moved up to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this year, judges in California ruled in September that before filing a takedown complaint, the owners of any media must argue that the publication of their material violates fair use or risk their own fine.

    “That’s an example of a court becoming sensitive to the conversational and transformative nature of social media,” Korzenik said. “There’s something else that’s happening there than just showing a movie or clip -- there’s an immediate conversation between real people sharing reactions to event.”

    Again, not arguing we should take the fight to the NFL, not arguing against this policy either. I'm simply saying it's not as cut-and-dry as some NFL lawyers like to think. They've been proven wrong numerous times before, and they may be wrong on this as well.
     
  7. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    It will either take a company with a lot of $$ or a lawyer who wants to make a name for him/herself that has a strong case in order to battle it. I think shooting video of people reacting to a game with footage in the background on television is completely different than people hooking up an HDMI cable directly to their PC and capturing the footage and immediately creating a video or GIF file. But you're right, that story about Lenz was ridiculous and should have fallen under the "fair use" guideline, so I'm not shocked she won that one.
     
  8. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

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    So, their lawyers argue that it violates fair use. And their client has copyright and many dollars sunk into producing it.

    Now it's your move to prove your use of owned, paid for, and copyrighted material is allowed under the doctrine.
     
  9. betterthanthealternative

    betterthanthealternative PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That may be true for sites that cover 31 of the NFL teams, but here, we only need to have a general awareness that there might be meaningless infringement on a previously unaddressed issue.
     
  10. pwes

    pwes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Jesus if its not one thing with the NFL its another. They're really becoming unbearable.

    Just to make sure I am in compliance, do I need to change my avatar? You mentioned the site not having Logos in your OP but I'm not clear on if we can have them as well. Or is it just the gifs?
     
  11. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    Gifs of footage are the main issue right now. I wouldn't worry about anything else at this point. :)
     
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  12. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

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    Her use of the song as part of a funny video with a baby was transformative, not derivative. In other words, she was making art well beyond just posting a song.

    If you take an NFL Gif and turn it into a comedy skit, you might win in court. of course, you might not.
     
  13. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You don't have to own or pay for copyrighted material to qualify for fair use.

    But I understand the larger point of not wanting to fight the battle, and I've already said numerous times I don't believe that is a battle that fans should fight. There's pretty much no upside, only downside to that fight. If you win, so what? If you lose, you could lose everything. I get it.

    I'm simply saying this part of law does not seem anywhere close to being clear, and it wouldn't surprise me to find out the league is wrong when all is said and done.

    MLB tried to sue fantasy football leagues claiming copyright infringement. They claimed stats were part of a player's image yadda yadda. It got laughed out of court. We may look back on this the same way one day.

    Fair enough. I'm sure any NFL "investigation" will conclude that Tom Brady was generally aware of the infringement, at which point Goodell will declare Brady was the mastermind and did you know Brady also got a new laptop?
     
  14. RayClay

    RayClay Hall of Fame Poster

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    I said the league owns and pays for what you want to use. You obviously didn't create or pay for it. It's left intentionally vague, but fair use is not a right or a law. It is only a doctrine you can use in your defense.
     
  15. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    They're a public figure and the stats are factual, and essentially historical information. I think that's why that one fell flat. The thing they get mad about is using the MLB or team logos, or the players. If I remember correctly, Brady beat Yahoo in court over that a few years ago.
     
  16. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    That's the issue. The broadcaster, CBS, NBC, etc. pays millions of dollars to broadcast that footage and it doesn't exist unless they - or someone - does and puts it on TV. So to just hook up a cable to your PC and directly repost it as either a video or gif and call it "fair use" doesn't fly. I don't like it, but I understand it. Local television affiliates have to get permission and even they're limited to how much of it they can show. The only ones with the freedom to do whatever seems to be the official team sites, which obviously makes sense.

    Same thing with photos. If I take a photo from camp and post it here and someone comes across it via Google Images and posts it on their site, Twitter, Facebook, etc., they think it's fair use because "they got it from Google". Well, it wouldn't be on Google if I didn't put it on the internet for Google to put it there. And if I didn't say you can use it, especially if you're not at least giving us the decency of crediting the fact I took it, you can't. Go take your own stinking pictures and then you can use them :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
  17. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yup, that's the exact reason. But it doesn't mean a lawyer for a large corporation won't try to make new case law, especially if they can bill by the hour for it ;0

    Sorry, misread that line.

    And you're right, fair use is not a law. But just because a lawyer sends you a letter claiming you've violated certain laws doesn't mean it's necessarily true. A lot of copyright case law doesn't really exist yet because it hasn't been challenged. But I think we're going to see it happen more and more in the coming years.
     
  18. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    Way back when I did Adam Vinatieri, Tedy Bruschi and Tom Brady's official sites (back in 2000 before Brady became Brady) the local marketing agent that I put the sites together through had permission to use a group of photos for each player but since the sites weren't league-sanctioned, I had to air brush out the logos on the helmets and uniforms just to avoid any issues. So it goes to show you, even the players didn't have permission to use the logo on their own sites back then. That seems to be different now.
     
  19. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think there are several arguments for the broadcasters, but that one specifically falls flat I think. Google won a copyright case against Perfect 10, and one of the conclusions was that just because someone charges money for content doesn't preclude it from fair use.

    Again, I'm not a lawyer. Nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night. But I think like with the Brady case, nobody could conclusively say which side would win. It depended on the judge, the lawyers, and the case law brought forth, and it seems there's even more vagueness and less case law when it comes to copyright cases.

    I am finding the discussion interesting. I'm not questioning the decision. Absolutely the right thing to do.
     
  20. n6249c

    n6249c In the Starting Line-Up

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    Fixed.
     
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