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I am helping a friend make a Facebook page. I am one of the admins. The page is for her clothing modeling. She had me upload a video of her walking down a run way modeling, but Facebook notified me it may violate copyright as in the background a song was playing. Is it ok to use the video as the main focus was not the song? What laws apply?

In general, if you have a video, and in the background a song (such as one by Bruno Mar’s) is heard playing, does that mean you are breaking copyright by posting it publicly online? Should I get my friend to sign any agreement, like the videos she gives me she has the right to use?

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There is copyright in the video and there is copyright in the audio and they may belong to two different people. Prima facie if your video contains a copyrighted song then posting it online is copyright violation.

You may have a fair use/dealing defence depending on the amount of the song, its quality etc. and how these will impact the song owner's ability to make money. However, Facebook doesn't care: they are not interested in defending copyright claims so they will make you take it down because the terms of service you agreed to say they can.

You can seek such a declaration from your client, however, to what end? Copyright violation does not require intent - there is no "I didn't know defence". Better if you seek an indemnity from her so that if you get sued or prosecuted she has to pay your costs.

  • What exactly would that indemnification clause look like? you agree to indemnify and defend against all claims relating to material you gave me Isn't the key here the defend part, not indemnify? – plainsam101 May 15 '17 at 9:22
  • For that, you need a lawyer – Dale M May 15 '17 at 11:07
  • Thanks, I was trying to ask the question I ended up asking here law.stackexchange.com/questions/18985/… – plainsam101 May 17 '17 at 5:59

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