Are You Committing a Crime With Your Book Video Trailer?
A few months back on a discussion thread I read concerning copyright infringement and book trailers. The discussion centered on the use of images and music in trailers, but extended to the use of the term “book trailers” as a possible trademark infringement. For those of you unaware the terms Book Trailer® and Book Teaser® are registered trademarks since 2002. However, “video trailers”or “book video trailers” are not a registered trademark.
I still believe that creating a trailer for your book is a necessary component to your book marketing plan, but you just need to make sure that you cross all T’s and dot all I’s while doing so. It’s crucial to use royalty-free music and properly licensed images and footage for your book cover and trailers. As long as you do so you will be fine and will avoid any possibly copyright issues.
Your best alternative when creating your book cover image or your book video trailer is to use your own images. Use pictures and video that you have photographed, filmed or hired someone to do so and get releases from everyone, talent, owner of artwork, owner of a pet, or the owner of a building/location. Make sure not to use trademarked products in your images or videos without permission and that you are the owner of your end product. My client agreements stipulate that the client is the sole owner of whatever I create for them. I simply ask for permission to use it to promote my services, which in turn is also promoting them. It may seem a bit daunting, but if you take the time to prepare you can produce an effective and complementary video to your book without the concerns of copyright issues. This process avoids all possibility of copyright infringement laws unless however, you parody or mimic an existing image or video that has been copyrighted, see this NY Times article Primer Spoof With Yiddish Faces Suit (in English). But that’s another blog.
If you’ve ever experience copyright issues with your book or video trailer, please weigh in. I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,
The Video VA
— GoAnimate (@GoAnimate) June 19, 2013
— Amber Kaplan (@GoAmberate) June 19, 2013