1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  1. Rumwriter

    Rumwriter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    20

    Are radio broadcasts copyrighted?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Rumwriter, Aug 12, 2017.

    Writing a feature for production. Can I have a character listening to NPR's Morning Edition on screen, or would that require securing rights.
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    10,952
    Likes Received:
    7,589
    The broadcasts are absolutely copyrighted, so if you want to quote the broadcast, that would require getting rights. If you're just talking about using the name of the program, that would be a trademark issue, and probably not a problem.

    No, I am not a lawyer.
     
  3. OJB

    OJB Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    632
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    From the U.S Gov website on copyright.

    -

    w Circular 342 34.1015
    Copyright Protection Not Available for Names, Titles, or Short Phrases
    Copyright law does not protect names, titles, or short phrases or expressions. Even if a name, title, or short phrase is novel or distinctive or lends itself to a play on words, it cannot be protected by copyright. The U.S. Copyright Office cannot register claims to exclusive rights in brief combinations of words such as:

    Names of products or services

    Names of businesses, organizations, or groups (including the names of
    performing groups)

    Pseudonyms of individuals (including pen or stage names)

    Titles of works

    Catchwords, catchphrases, mottoes, slogans, or short advertising expressions

    Listings of ingredients, as in recipes, labels, or formulas. When a recipe or
    formula is accompanied by an explanation or directions, the text directions
    may be copyrightable, but the recipe or formula itself remains uncopyrightable.
     
  4. surrealscenes

    surrealscenes Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    51
    At the end of the broadcast it should state that it has a copyright.
    However if a character is listening to a show on the radio, you may want to get permission to use the name and make up the story being listened to. I would wait until nearly finished before reaching out since anyone with sense will want to read it before giving the ok. There are a number of things NPR or any other company does not want to be associated with.
    As a different example- When making a movie you can use real police and military vehicles & uniforms if you show them in a positive light. If they are portrayed a bumbling idiots, you get to make your own props and follow the laws about what it can't look like. (This is why a lot of movies/tv have cop cars with 2 red or 2 blue lights on top; you can't make it real without the licensing.)
     
  5. mashers

    mashers Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    478
    Every original creation is copyrighted to the creator. It doesn’t matter whether it is stated it is copyright or not. Unless it is explicitly stated to be public domain, it will be subject to copyright law. That means if you want to reproduce it in any way, you need to get permission first.
     
  6. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    The great white north.
    Depending on what type of production and how much of the program you intend to use, your use of it may fall under fair use. Fair use (or fair dealing as it's known in Canada) basically allows you to use small parts of copyrighted materials as long as they're used for research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review or news reporting. Licensing things, however, can be prohibitively expensive and even small fees can be a problem for smaller productions. Not to mention, if someone someone doesn't want to sell you rights for a program to be used in a production, it can pretty much stall, if not kill, a project. Probably your best bet would be to write an episode that is like, but legally distinct, from the NPR broadcast you wanted to use. Less money, less lawyers, less problems.
     
    jannert likes this.
  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    10,952
    Likes Received:
    7,589
    I still want to know if @Rumwriter is trying to quote the show, or just refer to it.
     

Share This Page