November 26, 2012

Oh Susanna - What About Copyright Infringement?

Happy Monday, Everyone!

I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving weekends!  Did anyone get a Christmas tree yet?  I saw a surprising number of cars with trees up on their roof racks, and while I love having a Christmas tree I know better than to get one this early.  I have a bad habit of forgetting to put water in the the stand, so our trees have a tendency to dry up rather faster than one might hope.  If we got one a whole month head it would look exactly like that tree in How The Grinch Stole Christmas by December 25th... you know... a bare dried up brown thing with no needles whatsoever :)

So how exciting is this?  We've got an Oh Susanna question today!  It feels like it's been ages!

Here's the question of the day:


Oh, Susanna, lately there has been a lot of talk about bloggers putting pictures (not their own pictures that they have taken, but images found on sites like Google) on their blogs. But I have seen some picture books read in their entirety on YouTube with each spread visible. Isn't this really chancy, too? Does this break copyright rules? Or does an author feel that this is a wonderful form of advertisement for their books?


I have to say, this is something I have wondered too, because I have also seen picture books on YouTube in this form and I simply can't believe it.  My knowledge of law is not as extensive as you might think, given that you can't swing a cat in my family without hitting a lawyer :) (my grandfather, both my parents, and one of my brothers are all lawyers!)  I don't think any of my contracts specifically say it is against copyright to read the book aloud and show all the pictures in a YouTube video, but the message of most contracts, whether they're that specific or not, is quite clear.  The general idea is NOT to give away the book you worked so hard on and that the publisher spent a lot of time and money producing.

And make no mistake, that is what you're doing.  If you read a picture book in its entirety and show all the pictures in a YouTube video you have given away your book (or someone else's should you happen to be reading a book that's not your own.)  Where is the incentive for anyone to buy the book if they can view it whenever they want for free?  I would think that was a serious copyright infringement, far worse than posting a single picture you don't own.

By making a book available in this way, you are potentially taking away someone's royalties and cutting into their sales numbers.  You are sharing something that isn't yours to share.

In answer to the second part of your question, although I as an author would be flattered if someone liked one of my books enough to share it in this way, I would be very unhappy and hurt if someone were to do it.  The only entity that would have the right to do something like that is the publisher, and they would have no reason to.

I'd be very interested to hear from everyone, though, what you think about this.  Is it okay to make videos such as those described above?  Would you feel like you were doing the author/illustrator a favor, or celebrating the book, or helping in some way?  I'm looking forward to the discussion, because maybe I'm wrong...!

Have a great day, everyone! :)

Reactions:

79 comments:

  1. The Copyright Infringement fact sheet outlines suggested procedure to follow in the event that your work is infringed.

    http://www.buywartrol.org/

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  2. That's a great question, and something I've been wondering about ever since I reviewed I TOOK THE MOON FOR A WALK months ago. At the time, I found a video of a teacher reading the entire book. First I was upset because I didn't like the reading AT ALL. If I were the author and saw my book being read in its entirety in a way I didn't like, I'd be pretty upset. One thing is in the classroom, another is to publicize your reading for the whole world to see. Then of course I was taken aback by the fact that she read the whole book.


    I have no idea about the legal aspects of this, but I can't imagine that it's okay without permission of the author/publisher. When in doubt - don't do it!

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  3. Yes, Renee! That is exactly how I feel! And I'm glad you mentioned the actual reading too - it would be awful if the person read it badly! :)

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  4. Great question, and I would guess that if it isn't your book, it would be violating copyright laws because you have giving away the contents for free and without permission. That's no different than photocopying the book and distributing the copies.

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  5. I would think reading someone else's picture book in its entirety while displaying all the pictures in a recording would be considered piracy. You've created an AV copy of the book that has not been authorized for production by the author or said parties that partook in the final production of the book. I'm no attorney, but I could see that as a legal issue in favor of the author. Not so sure about copyright infringement as the story is being told from the copyrighted form and the reader is not making the claim that the document is their own. At least I would hope that isn't the case

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  6. It is a great question, and one that has affected me, so I am really glad it was brought up. Thanks Oh Susanna! I have come across several recordings of my books in their entirety on YouTube. Some are read, some are sung. Most are not good. Usually they give me credit but there is one I came across this morning that shows an adorable little girl reading my Itsy Bitsy Spider book. It's delightful, but there is no mention of my name! Some people don't seem to understand "all rights reserved." I have notified my publisher and they said they can't keep track of who puts what out on YouTube and to consider it advertisement. On the one hand, I agree (as long as credit is given!) but on the other hand, I would expect the courtesy of asking for permission (and I appreciate those who do.) And I appreciate that they like my book enough to want to share it, but as you said, Susanna, maybe seeing the video might deter someone from buying the book. And of course if people use our work and make money off it- then it is a true copyright infringement, in which legal action will have to be taken. The internet is a blessing and a curse, isn't it?

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  7. That's what you get for being famous! :)

    (Joking aside, that's annoying...)

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  8. I agree with you Ms. Hill. It is wrong to do it without the author's permission. If it is your book, and you want to read it, then go ahead! If it isn't your book, don't do it! I think it is a good idea to show maybe one picture of a book you are reviewing or one or two lines to show how amazingly awesome the book is and why you should get it, but only a little sneak peek!

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  9. Oh, Iza! I had no idea this had actually happened to you. I really appreciate you telling us about it and sharing your experience, though I'm sorry it's occurred. It's amazing, isn't it? That someone would just assume it was okay to read and show your whole book? But I guess there are photographers who feel the same way about people using their photos on blogs... I just thought that was different because the photos were already available in google images, but when you think about it, we're really taking their work in the same way.

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  10. I agree, Erik - a few lines and a picture or two is absolutely fine - then it does give you a taste of the book without giving away the farm. But I'm pretty sure that even if you were to read your own book - if it's been traditionally published and is still in print - that you would be violating your own copyright by reading it and showing it in it's entirety on a video that could be viewed over and over at any time.

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  11. You make an excellent point, Angela! I'm so glad you joined the conversation. I think you're right - it may be piracy we're talking about here and not copyright infringement! But as Iza was saying, some of these videos, while not necessarily claiming to be the work of the reader, do not give credit to the author/illustrator/publisher, so that' bad too.

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  12. Yes, that's exactly what I think, Stina. Although I think Angela may be right that what we're really talking about here is piracy.

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  13. Piracy = Copyright Infringement whether or not you pass the work off as your own.


    Plagiarism = attempting to pass the work off as your own, even if you aren't infringing on copyright because you only borrowed a paragraph or two.

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  14. Fair Use = reading a picture book to a class of kindergartners.

    Copyright infringement = copying the book and distributing copies to the class or sharing on YouTube

    Piracy = copying the book and SELLING the copies in paper or digital format.

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  15. Thanks, Nancy! Is it only piracy if someone benefits financially from it though? Do they have to sell the product for it to count as piracy?




























    nrhatch (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Piracy = Copyright Infringement whether or not you pass the work off as your own.

    Plagiarism = attempting to pass the work off as your own, even if you aren't infringing on copyright because you only borrowed a paragraph or two.

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    IP address: 72.185.189.227

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  16. Oh! See? You answered my question before I saw that you had - great minds think alike :) Thanks for these definitions - VERY helpful!





























    nrhatch (unregistered) wrote, in response to Stina Lindenblatt:

    Fair Use = reading a picture book to a class of kindergartners.

    Copyright infringement = copying the book and distributing copies to the class or sharing on YouTube
    Piracy = copying the book and SELLING the copies in paper or digital format.

    Link to comment
    IP address: 72.185.189.227

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  17. It seems like this might be similar to an acting troupe putting on a play. I am assuming they have to pay for use of the script? I know singers have to pay for music when they perform it. It seems like unless the "performer" is paying for the right to read the book, it might be a violation.

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  18. I'm so glad you've opened discussion on this subject. Just two days ago I stumbled on the entire Goodnight ipad on YouTube. It was really well done, but the discovery certainly jolted me. I even felt a little guilty after I watched it.

    While I absolutely agree people should not be displaying work that is not their own, I want to add there is a lot of discussion going on by serious established authors about judiciously making some books available for free. Mostly this has been done to support dwindling educational resources, and promote literacy. I did read some buzz about the benefits of writing free ebooks. I can't remember where. When I find it, I'll send you the link. The main point being don't dismiss "free" out-of-hand, it can be a great addition to your marketing arsenal. But for myself, I would be very cautious.



    Lastly, I disagree that online books remove the motivation to buy an actual book, but perhaps that's because I don't own an iphone or ereader. There will always be some people who want whatever they can get for free, and there will always be some who understand the value of owning the book for themselves. Personally, I'm going out to get my own copy of Goodnight ipad.

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  19. Yes, Kirsten, and the problem is they are certainly not paying for it!

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  20. I don't think people understand how little authors actually make or that by posting the author's book on youtube they are taking away sales or they don't care. There is so much piracy happening these days (movies, music, stories etc.) it's scary to think of the impact this is going to have in the long run. It drives me crazy when I see writers stealing stuff without giving credit. You would think that writers would know better.

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  21. This is a wonderful and disturbing post at the same time. Disturbing because I never really thought about it. Now I'm thinking about many aspects, most of which have been discussed here. A question: I perform at libraries and schools monthly for years and share other authors' books. I ALWAYS start by acknowledging both the author & illustrator. Does that fall into the same category of piracy? Sure hope not.

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  22. It's a great question, and I have seen it done a a lot with picture books and poetry, and agree with all below, that this would seem like an illegal infringement. Maybe those who do this feel they are simply helping in promotion, but it definitely begs the legal question and, in my opinion, bad reproductions can actually have a negative impact. I am not comfortable with putting more than the front cover and a couple of quotes of someone's book on my blog. I feel if one wants to give away more, permission should be requested.

    I appreciated Iza's thoughts and if a Publisher cannot limit this (which I understand) is it something we just have to accept and move on?

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  23. I agree, Rena. And it it's this bad even for traditionally published books (see Iza's comment) that have the weight of a house and its legal team behind them, think how much harder for indie and self-publishing titles, which seems to be the way a lot of creative work is going.

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  24. Oh, no, Linda - I would certainly think not! Reading another author's book aloud in a school or library setting is fair use. As a writer, don't you hope that people will share your stories in such settings? And in those cases, the school or library has purchased the book, and hopefully exposing children to it will encourage them to get a copy of their own. It's committing it to a video, so that people can hear the story and see the pictures any time they want - repeatedly - without having to pay for the book that I think is copyright infringement/piracy.

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  25. I completely agree with you, Joanna. As a published author, as you are yourself, I don't mind if a few lines of one of my books and even a couple of interior pictures are shared. I would hope those things would whet people's interest in the book and hopefully encourage them to buy it, or check it out of their library. But it is discouraging to hear Iza's story.

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  26. POSTED FOR JOANNE ROBERTS

    I'm so glad you've opened discussion on this subject. Just two days ago I stumbled on the entire Goodnight ipad on YouTube. It was really well done, but the discovery certainly jolted me. I even felt a little guilty after I watched it.

    While I absolutely agree people should not be displaying work that is not their own, I want to add there is a lot of discussion going on by serious established authors about judiciously making some books available for free. Mostly this has been done to support dwindling educational resources, and promote literacy. I did read some buzz about the benefits of writing free ebooks. I can't remember where. When I find it, I'll send you the link. The main point being don't dismiss "free" out-of-hand, it can be a great addition to your marketing arsenal. But for myself, I would be very cautious.

    Lastly, I disagree that online books remove the motivation to buy an actual book, but perhaps that's because I don't own an iphone or ereader. There will always be some people who want whatever they can get for free, and there will always be some who understand the value of owning the book for themselves. Personally, I'm going out to get my own copy of Goodnight ipad.

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  27. Joanne, thank you so much for your input. You raise some very interesting points. I do definitely see the benefit of making more books available to schools with no budgets, or kids who wouldn't get to read otherwise etc., but I still think you have to be careful with books that have been traditionally published and are protected by copyright. There would be value in producing ebooks of some kind, or books read on YouTube for specifically this purpose. But if a book has been traditionally published I think you should still have permission.


    You are right, though, that some people will always take what they can get, and some people are drawn to electronic versions while others will always opt for the real thing so they can hold it in their hands and turn the pages.


    Thanks again for your very thoughtful response!

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  28. I understand your concern as an author and not being mentioned Iza, but those cute readings of books by young kids have nudged me to buy an author's book, because I can see that my great granddaughter can read the book and how fun it is. You should be given credit, but someone looking up the book (like me) would know the author. I'd welcome the publicity, but would have a hard time with someone making money off it. It's sticky business and I wouldn't post a book read by a kid.

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  29. For the most part, I don't buy picture books unless I have read it first. Sometimes I do, but that's rare. I love buying books that I would like to read over and over again. I'm sure there are others who would buy a book AFTER hearing it. Credit would be nice though.

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  30. I apparently don't spend enough time watching YouTube since I had no idea how prevalent this problem was!

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  31. So here's another twist to think about... you mentioned reading the book in its entirety on YouTube while showing the pages. Would the scenario feel any different if the pages were not shown?

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  32. I read a book on YouTube once, but the author ASKED me to; it was part of a contest. She has 100's of people reading her book: Once Upon a Twice by Denise Doyen. I think more people really do want to buy it once they see it online. However, everyone in her contest HAD PERMISSION. I wouldn't do that unless I DID have permission, though.

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  33. I wonder about this. It's kind of the no publicity is bad publicity thing, but then again I don't like the idea of having my work "stolen." It would help if everyone who shared understood to credit the authors and illustrators. I think things get shared so easily nowadays that it's easy to forget the original creator. Great question Susanna!

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  34. I'm so sorry this happened to you, Iza.

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  35. Yes, Joanna. I review mostly picture books by Indian publishers on my blog. When I'd just started off, I thought of adding a double spread from each of the featured books along with the front and back cover in the reviews to give my readers a better sense of what the inside of the book looks like. But before doing so, I wrote to the publishers seeking their permission for it. It seemed to me like the appropriate thing to do.

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  36. I used story cub (http://www.storycub.org/) to market my book, "Annie's Special Day" once upon a time, It was a beta web site at the time. They are an organization that read your book aloud and played it on iTunes thereby giving free access to your book to millions of parents. The hope there, since they do give credit to the author, is that my book would then be bought for their kids. However I didn't see any increase in sales from this.


    Now when I click on the web page I can't pick any book I would then want read to me much less my own, as there is no list from which to pick. I will email the brain child behind this web site, Dave Serdlick and ask about it.


    But as the previous comments suggest it is not a copyright infringement because he gives credit to the author. I would be interested in seeing what SCBWI says about it. There is an article about Story Cub in one of their magazines.


    Thanks so much, Susanna for bringing this subject to light. :)

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  37. I'm sorry, Susanna...my comment is mega-long!


    This is a GREAT question, Susanna...and one that I researched recently because I wanted to do a series of YouTube videos called: Show Me How Picture Books and Crafts for Kids.

    Unless you have permission from the author (and perhaps the illustrator as well), you should not read/show the book in its entirety...if it is in a school classroom, for example, for purely educational purposes, that is probably fine...but if you are making a YouTube video, perhaps not. There are many gray areas here...but who wants to go to court to prove your point...and as Iza points out, although most authors would be thrilled to have their book chosen and 'advertised'...there is the chance that the potential buyer would not be motivated to purchase it if it was available for free. ..and of course, the author's permission should be obtained. :)

    Also, if you have agendas other than just educational (as I do...I'd like people to use MY book to find additional story suggestions and crafts, etc.), the gray area becomes much more black and white.

    That's why I introduce the topic (celebrating each person's unique qualities, for example) and then I share some of the pictures in each book (and of course I give the author's name...I think this last one I forgot to give the illustrator's name) and a brief synopsis of the story...and then I do the craft project. Here's a link to the one I did yesterday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIK6bijh8ww
    I encourage the parents to get the book so they can read it to their child.

    I'd appreciate feedback...if any of you feel this is wrong...if I am still showing too much of the book. There are many books that I do have permission to read completely...next Sunday I'll be sharing one of those. :)

    And this morning, I read about an organization in Belgium that is demanding libraries pay for the right to read books to kids during story hour because they feel it is a copyright infringement to read them without paying royalties...so is that taking this issue too far?

    It doesn't seem to matter how many times people read "Goodnight Moon" at a library or school...people are still going to give that book to new moms...and Dr. Seuss' "Oh The Places You'll Go" can appear on a hundred YouTube videos...the book is still going to be a wildly popular graduation gift. And look at the renewed popularity of the book "Where The Wild Things Are" as soon as the movie came out...you'd think people wouldn't 'need' to buy the book because they saw the movie...but sales of the book increased dramatically.

    Great question, Susanna!!! And I loved Nancy's helpful and professional input. :)

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  38. That's a good question, Katie. Personally, I think it would be a little better if you don't show all the pictures, but you're still sharing a story in its entirety in a venue where you don't have the right for that - it's still beyond fair use in my mind. But I'd be interested in what other people think!

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  39. I agree with that in principal, Christie. I also always read PBs before I buy them. And I'm sure there are some people who might hear and see the book read in its entirety on YouTube and then go out and buy the book. But I still think it's copyright infringement to read and show the whole thing. And I think credit is more than nice - it's necessary.





























    christie wild (unregistered) wrote, in response to Iza Trapani:

    For the most part, I don't buy picture books unless I have read it first. Sometimes I do, but that's rare. I love buying books that I would like to read over and over again. I'm sure there are others who would buy a book AFTER hearing it. Credit would be nice though.

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  40. Yeah. I think that's a different situation if the author asked you to read it. Although, even then, if it was a traditionally published book I bet she was violating her own contract.

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  41. I forgot to say, I also think it depends how it's read. A bad reading could prejudice you against the book.





























    christie wild (unregistered) wrote, in response to Iza Trapani:

    For the most part, I don't buy picture books unless I have read it first. Sometimes I do, but that's rare. I love buying books that I would like to read over and over again. I'm sure there are others who would buy a book AFTER hearing it. Credit would be nice though.

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  42. It is a tough call in some ways. But I think copyright is clear and people must be infringing, and I REALLY think permission should at least be asked and the author and illustrator should be clearly credited. Glad you like the question - you can thank Penny for that :)

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  43. I'm curious, Richa - did the publishers grant permission? I think it's great that you took the responsible route!





























    Richa Jha wrote, in response to Joanna Marple:

    Yes, Joanna. I review mostly picture books by Indian publishers on my blog. When I'd just started off, I thought of adding a double spread from each of the featured books along with the front and back cover in the reviews to give my readers a better sense of what the inside of the book looks like. But before doing so, I wrote to the publishers seeking their permission for it. It seemed to me like the appropriate thing to do.

    User's website
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  44. I'm not really adding anything new here, but I did want to add my voice to say it seems clearly infringement to distribute an author's work in any form other than the one it was published in.


    As I think about it, "All rights reserved" means ALL rights are protected for the author. Media rights are something agents and entertainment lawyers negotiate separately from original hardcopy publishing rights, and so the author would acrue added income if a legal video or audio recording was made of their book.


    As I understand "fair use" one can use a photo of the cover of a book on one's blog IF one is reviewing the book. That doesn not include sharing lengthy portions of the book, and certainly not the full text and illustrations.


    I just randomly grabbed a picture book off the pile near me, and the copyright statement says "All rights reserved. no part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in an information retrieval system in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, tape, and recording, without prior written permission from the publisher." I'd say that was pretty clear.



    As far as I can see, blogs, even "teaching" blogs, that share the whole book, are violating the author's and publisher's rights.


    (Sorry for the dissertation. This is a subject that interests me greatly.)

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  45. I'd like to know, though, whether it's infringement even if the author is credited. In the case of self-publishing, maybe not. But in the case of traditional publishing, the publishing house holds the rights, and I'm not sure an author has the right to even show their own work in this way, never mind someone else's. I'd like to know!

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  46. You make a lot of good points, Vivian! First, I would say that the way you share books is perfect! I don't think anyone would call that infringement. That is great free advertising! :) By sharing enough of the book to raise people's interest and then a craft or recipe or whatever that they can do along with the book, you're encouraging so many good things it would take too long to list :) Second, I think books are written and published to be read aloud in schools and libraries, and I can't imagine charging for that! Seriously! That sounds ridiculous! With budgets already stretched, the economy weak, SO many children who don't have access to books, I think it would be just awful to charge for a reading, or to say that a teacher can't read the whole book in a classroom! I hope that never happens! Third, you are right that there are books like Goodnight Moon that will always sell no matter how many times it's videoed or whatever. But that may not be true of all books. Of course, that may tell you that those books aren't as good - they don't pass the read over and over test. Ultimately, it's kind of two different arguments. On the one hand, it's always great to have someone like your book enough to share it on video, and there's a lot to be said for the "no publicity is bad publicity" theory. But on the other hand, copyrights exist for a reason. The author, illustrator, publishing house worked hard to produce the book and put a lot of time, energy and money into it, and it doesn't belong to Average Joe to do whatever he wants with...

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  47. Most did, Susanna. I think it's also because there are very few platforms available for children's book publishers in India to get their books featured. Moreover, because I am more of an insider to this industry - and the numbers are small - publsihers know about me. Things then tend to work at a more personal level (without coming in the way of honest critiques of their books).
    But, in a couple of cases, I did not hear back from them. But I've gone ahead and shown the doublespreads from their books too. But now that we are having this discussion, it makes sense for me to be absolutely sure on this front with the publishers who did not respond. Can't thank you enough for raising this issue here today, Susanna!

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  48. Emma D Dryden, drydenbksNovember 26, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Terrifically important post and very thoughtful comments! I am happy to add my two cents as a former publisher. There are instances when, if the publisher is informed by an author that piracy is going on, the publisher will take on a site that is committing piracy with a cease-and-desist order, which usually results in the removal of the pirated copy of the content. However, publishers can't patrol the internet, so they rely on authors to help them be alert to infringement issues of any kind. In terms of reading a whole picture book on YouTube and showing the pictures, I agree that this IS copyright infringement -- and I am also not in the least bit surprised if a publisher who is made aware of this YouTube situation chalks it down to a form of publicity, as it's not the case that having a book available on line is going to necessarily prevent that book from being purchased as a print book or eBook. Yes, to show and read any amount of a book online, permissions from publishers and/or authors/illustrators ought to be sought, granted, and appropriate credits sited -- but as we know too well, this isn't happening as often or as well as it should with the internet being the "free" playground that it is. Publishers are trying to crack down on the issues of (c) infringement and piracy, but it's a horrific uphill battle, which is shameful for once again an artist's work is being essentially devalued.

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  49. Legality aside, it isn't nice to use someone's work without permission, whether it's video, photos, words, pictures... I try to follow the three R's of artistic property: If it isn't my own work, recognize, respect, and regard [the artist's wishes]. Of course, you have to ask the author to figure these things out!

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  50. Wow....we really opened a copyright can of worms here! When I posed the question, it was because I viewed some readings on YouTube when hunting for legitimate book trailers for Perfect Picture Book Friday. I know I could find trailers on author's and/or publisher's sites, but I was just Googling the title to get to a trailer because I seem to Google everything. I did see some very poor readings. I thought, "Oh my, I would never want this to be seen if I had written this book." On the other hand I saw wonderful readings, too, but all the while I was watching them, I thought it was sad that someone posted another person's work in its entirety. It just didn't seem fair to me. I watched your video, Vivian (Vivian provided a link in her comment below), and it is just right. A "teaser" if you will, that would tempt a listener to go and buy the book. It really seems so unfair if credit isn't given as in Iza's case. I imagine you had steam coming out of your ears, Iza!
    From reading all the wonderful input from so many knowledgeable commentors, it seems that no matter what we "think" this is a problem that will have to be tackled on a "per instance" basis by publishers who are having a hard time keeping up as it is....so likely it won't be tackled.
    Thanks, Susanna, for the post!

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  51. Wow, what a great forum! Thank you, Susanna and all of you for your insightful comments. I am not sure I see this as piracy. Piracy, I believe is actual stealing for one's own benefit, whereas copyright infringement can be more innocent. Having been both a perpetrator and a victim of copyright infringement, that is my understanding. Ok, I know you are curious so I'll tell you!: I was sued for infringing on the first verse of "I'm a Little Teapot'. Having seen it in numerous anthologies listed as traditional, I assumed it was in public domain. Not so. There was a copyright on it in 1967. We settled and the book continues to be in print. We give them credit on the copyright page. But then a few years ago, a friend of mine was listening to a tape put out by a very big company (I'll omit the name) and one of my nursery rhyme songs was on it. No credit was given for my lyrics. They also assumed it was traditional. Still, we had a settlement and basically I broke even between the two lawsuits! What goes around comes around :-) I am now very cautious. I think most people don't have malicious intents, they are simply unaware, uninformed. Still, it is a problem for the creators.....

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  52. Thank you so much, Emma, for taking the time to come over and add your well-informed professional opinion. I really appreciate it, as I'm sure everyone else here does.

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  53. Thank you, Beth. This is a very interesting and helpful comment. I think it's an indication we've hit a nerve when there are so many lengthy comments - people have a lot to say about things that matter to them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge - we all benefit!

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  54. Thanks for answering, Richa. I'm glad to hear that publishers gave you permission - I think it's a matter of observing the rules, really, everyone likes to be asked :) And you (or anyone else who shows one interior spread with permission) are certainly not doing any harm that I can see whetting people's interest in a book by showing a teaser. I'm so glad if you found this discussion helpful. You can thank Penny for asking the question - it was a good one! :)





























    Richa Jha wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Most did, Susanna. I think it's also because there are very few platforms available for children's book publishers in India to get their books featured. Moreover, because I am more of an insider to this industry - and the numbers are small - publsihers know about me. Things then tend to work at a more personal level (without coming in the way of honest critiques of their books). But, in a couple of cases, I did not hear back from them. But I've gone ahead and shown the doublespreads from their books too. But now that we are having this discussion, it makes sense for me to be absolutely sure on this front with the publishers who did not respond. Can't thank you enough for raising this issue here today, Susanna!

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  55. Very true, Hannah, and excellent policy!

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  56. Thank you, Penny, for posing the question! We certainly did seem to hit a nerve! So many excellent, thoughtful comments on this issue, and I think you've got it exactly right, that it's something that needs to be addressed but it's hard to know quite how. I agree that Vivian's videos are just right, and feel bad for Iza that her work was essentially stolen by not being properly credited! Thanks again for a great question!

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  57. Wow! Thanks for sharing that, Iza. This certainly has turned into quite the discussion, and I think we've all learned something here today. Basically I think it boils down to being considerate of other people's hard work and intellectual property, and erring on the side of caution if you're not sure what's okay. I think you're right that most people do it innocently and have no thought of malicious intent or personal gain.

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  58. Hi Susanna. I've not had time to read all the comments but from a personal point of view, I think it's great advertising. My personal feeling is that no one who'd consider buying a picture book would change their mind because they had the chance of watching some random person read it whenever they wanted to (where's the cuddling up and page turning together and spotting things in the illustrations if you're watching it?). It's a completely different experience. A friend found a fab reading of her book recently and her publisher contacted the boy to thank him and ask if he'd consider reading more stories. I also contacted him and he's going to read mine, too! You are ALL VERY WELCOME INDEED to read any of my books, in their entirety, on youtube and I will help share it round and be extremely grateful. I think it's a lovely thing. And WAY more likely to encourage a purchase than discourage one. (I've already got my daughter reading Don't Panic, Annika! (ill. Jennifer E Morris; Piccadilly Press) on youtube, at the book launch, and I'm going to get some other people to record the ones in other languages, and get another daughter to read 'The Kite Princess' (ill. Laura-Kate Chapman; Barefoot). It means it comes up in search engines if someone's written the name of the book and the author in the title.
    I'll come back and read some other comments later after my deadline, but hooray for people reading on youtube (and I'd even check before buying a book to see if it's on youtube and if I like it, I'll go and buy it). Thanks, Clare.

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  59. I absolutely agree with Clare. These people are celebrating your books and not making money from them. They are free advertising and I have bought books after seeing youtube videos.

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  60. It's really interesting, because all the British people I've talked to about it in the past are REALLY up for it. But I know that one of my American online critique group friends had shown concern that I had posted up someone reading my first picture book. I wonder if there is a divide...? I'd love the thought that someone felt strongly enough about my book to record and share with others. And if (though I don't think it would happen) you lost a couple of sales because people loved the reading enough to watch it over and over but, say, couldn't afford to buy it (or their parents couldn't) then I'd say hooray for it being there and providing access. But I really really don't think that would be happening.

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  61. Oh Julie, if this was a schoolroom class, you would see my hand waving wildly...may I , may I? I'd LOVE to read one of your wonderful books as part of my Picture Books and Crafts for Kids series.:)

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  62. Thank you so very much, Susanna...I came to see your reply first thing this morning...I am relieved that you feel what I am doing is 'okay'...and I was thrilled to read Juliet's response.:)

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  63. Susanna, I'm a day late stopping by - but I'm certainly glad I didn't miss this discussion. Wonderful comments and input. I only have a little funny to add...When I read to my grandkids (2 & 4) I always say the title, and written by______and drawn by __________. My grand girls expect to hear it. The other day when their mom started to read 'Barnyard Dance' (their favorite) to them she just plunged into the story. Both girls started to yell and protest...no, no, Mom, you forgot to say Sandra Boynton! Then when I was reading a Fisher-Price board book there was no author listed---that took some explaining on my part....corporation was not in their vocabulary. So finally I told them it was written by Mr. Fisher and Mr. Price.

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  64. Of course! Picture books are for sharing. I can see it as more of a problem if it's a novel as you're less likely to reread it but a picture book is designed to be read and re-read and re-re-read. PLEASE do and then give me the link (probably easiest to facebook friend me?) and I'll send the link round for others to see. As a matter of interest, my editor at Barefoot (Tessa Strickland, co-founder and editor in chief) has today been asked by someone who's doing a feature and giveaway for The Kite Princess for libraries around the UK, if it's ok to post me reading the whole book up there for people to see. her response? 'Of course!'. Thank you. -Clare.

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  65. oh, and Vivian, The Kite Princess is about a girl who makes a kite without anyone realising so she can be free... there's kite-making notes in the back, but you could easily do your own kite-making craft activity... Have fun!

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  66. It turned out to be quite a discussion, didn't it?! Very interesting! Love your story - Mr. Fisher and Ms. Price :) Also love Barnyard Dance :)

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  67. I'm so glad to hear your experience and opinion, Clare! Thank you for sharing the other side of the coin. I definitely agree that it's great for stories to be available for kids who might not get to read them otherwise, and I think it is a good advertisement if the story is read well and if the author and illustrator are credited. I'm interested in the US vs. UK opinion - it seems that many US people feel strongly against such readings, including Emma Dryden who has vast experience as an editor for a very prestigious publishing house, and yet you and your editor have no problem with it and actually embrace it. Why such a difference, I wonder?!

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  68. That is great to know, Maureen! Thank you so much for chiming in!






























    Maureen Lynas wrote, in response to Juliet Clare Bell:


    I absolutely agree with Clare. These people are celebrating your books and not making money from them. They are free advertising and I have bought books after seeing youtube videos.

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  69. :)






























    Vivian Kirkfield wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:


    Thank you so very much, Susanna...I came to see your reply first thing this morning...I am relieved that you feel what I am doing is 'okay'...and I was thrilled to read Juliet's response.:)

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  70. I own my copyright not the publisher. So I can do as I wish with my book although I had told her about it being on iTunes with my name and title of the book.

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  71. Thanks for chiming in and sharing your experience, Clar!






























    Clarike Bowman-Jahn wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:


    I own my copyright not the publisher. So I can do as I wish with my book although I had told her about it being on iTunes with my name and title of the book.

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  72. Nosy Crow, another publisher from the UK, are also embracing it, having just discovered one accidentally on YouTube and have asked the boy in question to do more. Maybe it really is a US/UK thing...?

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  73. Maybe so. I definitely think there are pros to it. I guess the question being debated was more about rights and permission and being asked, but ultimately it doesn't matter too much if it's a good thing.





























    Juliet Clare Bell wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:


    Nosy Crow, another publisher from the UK, are also embracing it, having just discovered one accidentally on YouTube and have asked the boy in question to do more. Maybe it really is a US/UK thing...?

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  74. I'm joining this conversation late...but I've skimmed through some of the comments. I agree to what you've said Susanna, but I'm also guilty of being the one USING the infringed book! Being out of country, I don't have access to an English library filled w/picture books. One incident I was looking for the "The Empty Pot" and since I don't own it, I looked online for an online copy. Lo and behold...it showed up on You Tube with someone reading it. So I did have my son watch it to go with his homeschool lesson. And we like Barnes and Noble online storytime, but the author reads his/her own pb. Maybe you should do that so we can have access to one of your books and your lovely voice :)

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  75. Clearly there are situations where the videos are great to have! As for my lovely voice - not! :) I sound like a 12 year old :)

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  76. I just got to this post, but it's interesting to me the difference in opinion across countries. I think the U.S. as a whole is a very litigious society and becomes more so by the day. That said, sharing an ENTIRE book seems to me a definite violation of the copyright, especially, as in Iza's case, if no credit was given.


    The other issue is how the book is portrayed. Is it a great reading or a poor one? Is the reader recommending the book or slamming it? There is so much room for interpretation and it's so subjective. But in my view (the daughter of a lawyer), in the same way you can't plagiarize or share a photo online that's not yours, you shouldn't be able to read a book in its entirety that you didn't write unless you have the explicit permission of the author. Sections, yes. Entire book, no.


    For those of you who do book reviews in this way, understand that the law protects the owners of the copyright. As harmless as it may seem, especially if you are praising and promoting the book, you CAN be sued and will likely lose if that happens. So my advice is to share excerpts but not the whole book.

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  77. I totally agree that most copyright infringements are not borne of ill intent. But I also agree that it is far better to err on the side of caution!

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  78. It would only be copyright infringement if they had done the recording without permission from the author, but it sounds like Clar gave them permission. Which is a whole separate topic too. When the lines of promotion and piracy blur!

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  79. Thanks, Julie. I really have to agree. I think you've summed it up nicely! :)

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