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Remaking someone else's work, legal or not?

     
5:09 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hello, I found a good product in my niche, and its basically a series of audio session CD's. I was wondering if there is any way I can remake this product by hiring someone to re-record these audio sessions with their own voice and what would I need to change and how much of it I would need to change in order for it to become my own, so it doesn't violate copyright. Is this the same as if I was rewriting someone else's article or ebook in my own words?
9:13 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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No, it's an infringement. Think about it. If I record the latest number one hit record in my own voice and sell the recording does it violate copyright?

Of course it does.

9:47 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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No, it's an infringement. Think about it. If I record the latest number one hit record in my own voice and sell the recording does it violate copyright?

Not sure if I agree, I wasn't talking about songs here, but rather a narration which could also be printed in text. I could also change a lot of words and add my own ideas to it to make it unique, try doing that in a song....

9:58 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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try doing that in a song....

Ad-lib - common in a large volume of song cover versions, especially the better ones.

photonstudios: As I understand it., you've come across material within your niche that you think is compelling, and want to emulate it. But the way you have phrased your posts seems to be saying "I want to copy someone else's copyrighted material. How much do I need to change for it to be legal?":

hiring someone to re-record these audio sessions with their own voice and what would I need to change and how much of it I would need to change in order for it to become my own, so it doesn't violate copyright

I could also change a lot of words and add my own ideas to it to make it unique

Copyright laws are intended to protect original works - i.e. what is unique about your offering needs to be the starting point - not an afterthought. If you take what you liked about the audio sessions, and use those concepts to create something unique, then you don't have to worry about copyright laws.

If you take someone else's original content, then regardless of the percentage of change, the number of words or threshold you aim to pass, you need to talk to a qualified lawyer and IMO are likely to be skating on thin ice.

[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 9:59 pm (utc) on Nov. 5, 2008]

10:12 pm on Nov 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if I agree, I wasn't talking about songs here,

Songs, images, paintings, videos, narrations, text or whatever, all original works are automatically copyright protected.

2:51 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just to clarify something for you--copyright doesn't just protect the exact words and phrasings.

If you create a version of the original that changes all or most of the words, rewrites sentences, shifts paragraphs around, etc., but uses the original's ideas and organizing structure, IMO you're still violating copyright.

Check out resources like those at the US Copyright Office to help gain a better understanding of copyright law and the theory behind it.

11:08 am on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Doesn't the type of work being emulated count here? As far as I am aware, the elements of a food recipe can be replicated without a copyright problem as long as the wording is different. A chicken curry is a chicken curry after all. It has chicken, spices, sauce etc and these may be the same in many recipes.

The same goes, in my uninformed opinion, for an article about a car maintenance task. If, for instance, the article is about replacing an oil filter, the sequence of events being described and the tools involved may well be the same in any number of articles. The nature of the task forces similarity of articles between authors describing it. Just because I wrote about changing an oil filter first (which I didn't) doesn't give me copyright.

If the above is not the case, then let's give up and go home (or go to work in my case) because between wiki and about.com, all possible tasks have already been written about.

12:15 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Copyright is so complicated it makes my head spin! but the key here is photonstudios how would you feel if you had committed hours of your time creating a unique offering, such as the one you have seen, and one of your competitors re-recorded it, changed a little bit of the recording and started selling it themselves. I'm pretty sure you would be contacting your lawyer and asking what you could do to get them to stop...so will the person you are wanting to copy.

There are further reaching implications too, what ill this do for your companies reputation, what will customers who have bought your copy feel knowing that they have been sold something that wasn't yours to sell, how many other people will they tell about your underhand tactics. Even if you are found to not be liable by a court, this could do untold damage to your businesses reputation.

It may only take you 1 day to rip off some one else's work, but it will take a lifetime to rebuild your reputation if it goes wrong, surely it is better to put a little bit of time in in the first place and create your own unique content in the first place.

If you are looking for ideas on what to talk about, why not try the new wordtracker tool [labs.wordtracker.com...] which will show you what questions people are asking about your industry?

1:15 pm on Nov 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Do original work. Best results in that regard. Rip off someone else and it will be obvious (1) and (2) could lead to legal problems and (3) cost you business. If your product is ...say... a mountain or an ocean and you write about that mountain or ocean no problems. If you write about somebody else's description of that mountain or ocean, USING THEIR WORDS AND CREATIVE THOUGHTS you've crossed the line.

Will you get nailed? Most of the time NOT (look at all the MFA sites out there). Want to be lumped in with that bunch?

6:41 pm on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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narration must be issue...
3:33 pm on Nov 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Is this the same as if I was rewriting someone else's article or ebook in my own words?

As if that's ethical or legal?

I pursue content thieves regularly and have had success getting sites shut down even though they have re-written my original articles in their own words.

Do the right thing.

FarmBoy

8:48 pm on Nov 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

It seems you have got good talent. Why don't you start your own work from scratch. Not only it is be safe from copyright infringement but also you feel confident.

 

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