Copyright Tips

Pinnacle Systems knows how important it is for you to be able to exploit your creativity when making movies.  And for you not to worry about copyright infringement when creating your masterpieces, Pinnacle Life has a wide range if tips and suggestions for you edit your videos with no worries.
As an example, all recorded music and video is covered by copyright law. But, keep in mind that there are several types of content you can use legally, such as:

  • Original Content: If you create your own original audio and video, you own the copyright! You can do anything you like with it. Have fun and be creative!
  • Licensed Content: A license is permission from the copyright owner to use their work. There are lots of sources on the Web for free licensed content. Check out the Creative Commons project. Just remember to read the license carefully and make sure that it covers what you want to do.
  • Public Domain: Copyrights expire after a certain amount of time. When a copyright expires, the work enters the “public domain,” which means that it is free for everyone to use. Lots of old movies and songs are in the public domain. Watch out though: a recent recording of a song may be covered by copyright even though the original song is old and is in the public domain. Recent recordings of classical music are a good example of this. Here are some sites that can help you find public domain songs and videos:
  • Fair Use: Sometimes, it’s legal to copy someone else’s copyrighted work without their permission. This is called “fair use.” You can learn more about fair use here:
    • U.S. Copyright Office – Fair Use
    • Chilling Effects Clearinghouse: Copyright and Fair Use

If you decide to copy someone else’s songs or video, it’s up to you to determine whether it is licensed, public domain, or fair use. We can’t figure that out for you. However, if we receive a claim that your submission violates copyright, or it becomes apparent to us that your submission violates copyright, we’re required by law to remove it.

  • Misconceptions: There are some common misconceptions about copyright law. We don’t want to have to disqualify your submission, so let’s try to clear them up. It’s not legal to copy something just because:
  • You only copied a small part of the whole;
  • You found it on the Web;
  • It doesn’t have a copyright notice;
  • You gave the author credit;
  • You’re not charging money for your video;
  • Someone else copied it. This is true even if you found another copy on our Web site!
  • Finally, please understand that Pinnacle Systems can’t give you legal advice. We’ve provided these tips and a way to help you get started, but only a lawyer can advise you on whether your submission is legal.