Tutorial video legality

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Re: Tutorial video legality

Post by Gerardo »

Sorry for responding only now. I had promised myself that I would not visit the forum for a month. This is a topic I'm very interested about, so it was important for me to share my thoughts, even though ten days had passed since the last answer. My answer is this long because I replied to different comments of the whole conversation. So sorry guys :oops:. I do think it's a fruitful read though.
Folderp wrote:...does anyone know if MarianoZavala and FearlessFlourish tutorials are legal or not?
The question, as you put it, is a complicated matter. First of all you would have to take into consideration the legal systems of the related countries: at least, the origami creator's country, the video creator's country, and the video platform's country. I'll speak in regards to only the US legal system to keep things simple. It can still give a general idea in regards to other legal systems.

The answer is, to some extent, something Steingar has already answered:
steingar wrote:...the issue is up to whatever judge hears the case. Since it hasn't happened there is no legal guidance.
That's, more or so, as much as Steingar and I agree in relation to origami and legal matters.

An unauthorized instructional video of how to fold a modern (authored) model, could be both subject of legality (criminal law) and harm (civil law). Now, it's more likely for it to be sued than criminally charged for this act. Still, in any of those two cases, it's up to a judge to decide if there was an illegal act or if harm (in legal terms) had been committed.

Asking for and receiving authorization prior to making an instructional video of someone else's model avoids these illegal and harmful assumptions. That's what's called licensing in legal terms. If we're talking about copyright law, the author of a work has the exclusive right to allow certain practices related to his or her work (license). For example, according to the following description of this video, FearlessFlourish received the authorization from the creator to make that instructional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK6yqJnUY-I

Many within the origami community agree to the following: https://origamiusa.org/faq/copyright-0

Bear in mind they are only the interpretation of an intellectual property attorney. This means he or she knows about the subject, but that doesn't make it a legal document. They can be seen more like legal guidelines. Other's don't agree to what's written there.
Baltorigamist wrote:Steingar ->
I have a serious question: say someone converts a piece of audio (a song, maybe) into its raw data form. Is it a copyright violation to distribute that raw data if it can be reconverted into audio?

I think everything depends on where the lines of intellectual property are drawn.
Although many origamists like the comprehension of origami through the music metaphor, a judge might not see its similarities as they do. The question is, would the fixed, original, authored (copyright-protected) work be the material (folded) object—or simply put "fold"—and/or the folding process, understood as a performative expression of some sort, once fixed through diagrams or a video? Again, that's up to a judge to decide.

Let me quote the following in order to continue my explanation:
Baltorigamist wrote:Just to play devil's advocate, is there a difference between copying the diagrams and making a tutorial?...

Any model's folding sequence (i.e. diagrams) falls under intellectual property if I'm not mistaken. (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.) And, to me, a video tutorial is much the same as the diagrams, albeit in a different format. Plenty of people post pictures of individual steps--is that illegal? (I'm not saying it is outright.)...
Froy wrote:A video tutorial is a spin-off of the diagrams, showing how to make a figure is like posting diagrams illegally...
This would only be true if the folding process (fixed in a tangible medium) is protected by copyright law, something that hasn't been legally declared. If it were so, then once the process is fixed in a tangible medium (for example diagrams), that process couldn't be reproduced in any other medium without the author's authorization. In this scenario, if there were diagrams for the model and someone else made an instructional video showing the process (the performative expression), it would become a derivative work, something only the author can do or authorize—aside from the possibilities mentioned by fair use. But again, this would all depend on the fact that the law declared the folding process a performative expression.

Now, if only the original fold is copyright-protected, then we would have to take into account what section 102, Chapter 1, Title 17 of the United States Code manifests:
Subject matter of copyright: In general wrote:...
(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.
In this case, the folding process could be protected by a patent and not through copyright, which is a different aspect of intellectual property law. For that to happen the model creator would have to follow the whole procedure to hopefully obtain the patent. If there's no patent, in this hypothetical scenario, the folding process wouldn't be protected by intellectual property law.

steingar wrote:
Folderp wrote:
steingar wrote:Are you saying you don't own the copyright to artistic works that you create because they're based on the works of another?
For this I must redirect you to Robert Lang's page on copyright. If you don't want to read the whole thing, in it he states "a reproduction of a creative work is considered a derivative work no matter how it was derived and the original composer retains rights in the work," and "a modification of a creative work is considered a derivative work and the original composer retains rights in the work." In other words, no, you don't own copyright.
I will remind you that Robert, though easily one of the brightest people I have the pleasure of knowing, is not a legal professional of any stripe.
It doesn't have to do with whether it was posted on Robert Lang's site or not. Please read sections 101, 103, 106, and 107, Chapter 1, Title 17 of the United States Code. Photographs of copyright-protected works are derivative works. They are reproductions of preexisting works. Under copyright law, the author of the preexisting work has exclusive rights of preparing and licensing derivative works of his or her copyrighted work, with the exceptions mentioned by fair use. Even if the derivative work was rightfully licensed or allowed by fair use, only the original elements of the derivative work can be copyright-protected. Those other elements, corresponding to the preexisting work, are under the copyright-protection of said work, pertaining to its corresponding author.

On another subject...
steingar wrote:...getting permission can be very difficult indeed, especially if the designer resides in a foreign land. It can be even moreso if said folder is from Japan, given the level of language barrier.
It's a good thing Origami Authors and Creators is there for this cases. It has members that can communicate in a wide variety of languages and are able to contact a very good number of origami creators. The group is willing to help establishing contact in order to obtain authorization.

steingar wrote:
steingar wrote:Origami is not mentioned in US copyright law
Folderp wrote:No it isn't, but I believe art is, and origami is most certainly art.
I would call it craft, and the majority of its practitioners artisans. I use that appellation for myself. I tend to reserve the term "artist" for folks like Robert, David and some of the others on this board.
You don't have to include the concept of "art" into a discussion about intellectual property and copyright law in particular. Section 102, Chapter 1, Title 17 of the United States Code states:
Subject matter of copyright: In general wrote:(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of authorship include the following categories:
(1) literary works;
(2) musical works, including any accompanying words;
(3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music;
(4) pantomimes and choreographic works;
(5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;
(6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
(7) sound recordings; and
(8) architectural works
The law doesn't participate in a dispute of what's art and what isn't in order to manifest what can be copyright protected.

End of transmission :P.
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