Another Salvo in the Copyright Wars, This Time Over Videos

Published Categorised as News

Well, this is interesting. I had received an e-mail the other day from a Chris Hatcher, thanking me, along with a gazillion others listed in the “To:” line (did the guy never hear of Groups or Lists to maintain receiver privacy?!), for supporting eMotionBooks. Now the problem with an iffy memory is you don’t know if you really don’t know the person and he snagged your e-mail from some website or you just forgot him. Turns out, it was a bit of both.

Today I received an e-mail from Irene Watson of Reader Views, explaining that Hatcher was a video producer hired by her company to make book trailers. Reader Views retained the copyright of these videos, while giving authors, in her words, “the rights to post the book video (PreView) on any other websites or use it for marketing purposes, but, it has to be as is and not be altered.” Hatcher took these videos, stripped the credits out, and claimed them as his own, apparently.

Needless to say, Watson knows copyright, which is good, as it seems to be such a touchy subject for those who want to break it with impunity and a frustrating subject for those whose copyright is stolen under hubris of “terms of service” or just because.

Over a year ago, I hired Reader Views to create a book trailer for me, which Reader Views calls a PreView. Hatcher was the person who actually made it. After reading Watson’s e-mail, I remembered him. Nice guy. Very responsive to feedback. And so it’s quite surprising that he wrote me an e-mail that sounded like I knew all about his company and that, in the words of Watson, he “used videos he produced for Reader Views and put them on his website as well as YouTube and possibly other sites…posting them under the guise of being produced by his own company, eMotionBooks.”

It is too bad that Hatcher chose this route. It would’ve been much more sensible to approach all past Reader Views clients in the traditional way of reminding us who he is, that he’s set up a new video company, that this is what he offers, and to think of him if we decide to get another video done. Instead, he’s invited the wrath and the lawyers of a company to come down upon him. And in the US, unlike here in Canada, both authors and companies are prepared to enforce their copyright protection.

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