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Internet movie streaming

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by derek veazey, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. derek veazey

    derek veazey Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am having a debate with a friend regarding movie copyright law. She is a musician on a website on which she has paying subscribers. She is streaming movies using OBS (open broadcast software) without a license to her subscribers on a weekly basis for entertainment purposes. I am wondering if I am right in thinking this is a public showing and therefore constitutes violation of movie copyright law.
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Your friend is breaking the law.
     
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  3. derek veazey

    derek veazey Law Topic Starter New Member

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    That's what I thought, thanks for your response
     
  4. welkin

    welkin Member

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    You have to explain this. What movies is she streaming while playing? Are they movies that she doesn't have a license to use?

    Why do you think she needs a license to her subscribers? She would need a license from the copyright holder of the movies she is streaming not her subscribers.
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    The OP literally answered your question in the same sentence that you quoted.

    I agree that the sentence construction wasn't optimal, but the intent was clear.
     
  6. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree. OBS is Free and open source software for video recording and live streaming. That is how the friend is streaming not what is being streamed.

    That said, there is little doubt that whatever she is streaming is a copyright violation.
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I was referring to the "without a license" part ;)

    ETA: Of course, as I said, the sentence construction/lack of punctuation makes it all ambiguous.
     
  8. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    This would been a better way to state it to avoid the ambiguity that arose.
    Another alternative would have been:
    Or:
     
  9. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    You are correct.

    Section 106 of the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. section 106) gives "the owner of copyright under this title . . . the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of" several listed acts, including, "in the case of . . . motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly."

    Section 101 (17 U.S.C. section 101) states that, "[t]o 'perform' a work means to recite, render, play, dance, or act it, either directly or by means of any device or process or, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to show its images in any sequence or to make the sounds accompanying it audible." Section 101 also states that, "[t]o perform or display a work 'publicly' means—

    . . .

    (2) to transmit or otherwise communicate a performance or display of the work to a place [open to the public or where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances are gathered] or to the public, by means of any device or process, whether the members of the public capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times."

    Your friend is a wholesale copyright infringer, who could be liable for a whole host of nasty stuff under Chapter 5 of the Copyright Act, including damages between $750 and $30,000 per act of infringement.
     
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