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jayseattle
Level 7

Copyright laws, streaming from AWS

Hi everyone,

I am the creator of http://www.roku.com/channels/#!details/36014/christmas-winter and had some questions re: copyright. I did search the forums but did was unable to find anything to help me. Apologies if this is covered somewhere.

My channel streams music from artists such as:
Frank Sinatra
The London Philharmonic

I am streaming MP3s from AWS buckets. This allows the user a commercial free experience.

Can anyone comment on copyright in this scenario? And definitely if you have ideas on complying while providing commercial free experience, please do.

thank you!
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20 Replies
destruk
Level 10

Re: Copyright laws, streaming from AWS

Google search says --
Frank Sinatra's original release of his performance was 1964. Copyrighted until 2067. The music was written in 1954, copyrighted for 95 years (you can look up the required renewal notice filed in 1922). Anything recorded after 1972, and published with proper copyright notice, is copyrighted for 95 years from date of recording (or 70 years after death of any individual who performed in it without having signed a work made for hire agreement).
Any song or music published prior to 1922 in the U.S. is in the public domain and can be used. However, you want a particular recording of Frank Sinatra to be used in your movie, I think you have to contact his estate for permission to use it.

http://www.lpo.org.uk/recordings/licens ... dings.html

That being said it doesn't appear Roku cares unless they get a DMCA takedown notice after the fact, so you can probably skate. (developer agreement says free or not, you should have rights to stream your content)
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Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: Copyright laws, streaming from AWS

We care. Go to the HarryFox Agency's website and license the music you use, or use some creative commons music.

Joel
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destruk
Level 10

Re: Copyright laws, streaming from AWS

viewtopic.php?f=34&t=71969&p=449327&hilit=copyright#p449327

You say to email the channels who are streaming content you don't think they own, or if it's your own content file a DMCA notice with Roku.
Roku isn't going to pro-actively look at channels and ask for licensing agreements to be mailed into them - just they are going to do that for Dishworld since Dishworld owns/exclusive foreign content on all Roku platforms and devices forever.
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EnTerr
Level 8

Re: Copyright laws, streaming from AWS

Destruk -
the thread you link, Joel was describing existing processes of handling copyright issues.
Filing a DMCA notice is a legal/formal act by a rightful owner, compelling RokuCo to act. That takes high priority, what with a known plaintiff who asserts copyright (but note that sending a bogus DMCA claim is a perjury).

That does not mean that if the company was made aware of violations in other ways, they will definitely ignore it. If they willfully disregard piracy reports, they risk being charged as accessory to piracy (remember Napster/Grokster/Kazaa/Megaupload?). But investigating these cases is difficult - how can you tell if something is legal or not? - unless someone sends a message voluntarily admitting they are using unlicensed works in their channel... <pregnant pause> :twisted: and even then one cannot be sure because that might have been just a competitor posing as the real channel author, to cause a take-down.

The Dishy World case is unrelated to copyright - there RokuCo is making conscious choice of giving first dibs of international content to DW - and whatever they don't "eat" may be left for others to scavenge. Which is a shoddy move, sure. But while it may be exclusive-ish, it is about content access and not ownership "on all Roku platforms and devices forever" - don't bunch them together.
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destruk
Level 10

Re: Copyright laws, streaming from AWS

Well see, we just don't know - ther terms of their exclusivity deal have never been disclosed - the length of exclusivity hasn't been disclosed (meaning it's most likely renewed when the original expires) so it would be indefinite/forever, and Dishwold and Roku actively enforce this exclusivity and ensure the content is legal or at least allowed by Dishworld. Although Dishworld hasn't added any languages since they launched on Roku they have this to say --
"We intend to continue to expand the languages we offer on Roku and aren’t prepared at this point to provide blanket waivers of our exclusivity."
They have nothing for American Indians content language so I wanted to ask if they would allow a waiver for all American Indian content - but they want to keep their options open, and have developers PAY them to have said content available on roku, and then it gets merged into their expensive package deals as you get bought out. No thanks - we'll just provide said content on every device EXCEPT roku.

You would have to think there is some kind of vetting process for channels that pay Roku for their premium support like Hulu, Netflix, Dishworld, etc - it'd be both a problem for roku and these other businesses if something somehow got in that shouldn't be there. All I'm saying is at least during the initial channel approval process Roku is big enough now (10 million devices) that it might be a good idea to look a little closer at the content rights itself before simply adding it to the channel store to begin with.
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jayseattle
Level 7

Re: Copyright laws, streaming from AWS

I see, ok it looks like
Standalone Non-portable Subscriptions, Streaming Only" license which I believe to be a flat 10.5% of monthly proceeds. Anyway, that is for me to figure out.

30% Roku
10-20% AWS cost
10% Licensing
10-20% (?) Taxes

I guess I have to figure out if this is worth developing, I know there are ways to save on some of the costs as well.

thanks for the replies!
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EnTerr
Level 8

Re: Copyright laws, streaming from AWS

"jayseattle" wrote:
[on fees]
...
30% Roku
...
Isn't that more like 33% ? If i understand correctly that RokuCo will only pay via Paypal (where the moochers will collect ~3% of errr, "service fee"). Kinda sad (nay, amateurish) if they can't do money transfer nor check but instead force "service" down the throat. Does Roku discount that fee from their 30% by any chance?
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Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: Copyright laws, streaming from AWS

I don't think PayPal takes a cut on payments we send to developers, at least they are not supposed to.

Paypal takes a cut when an individual or small business pays someone, but we have a different kind of account with PayPal that is not supposed to do that.

- Joel
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Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: Copyright laws, streaming from AWS

"destruk" wrote:
Well see, we just don't know - ther terms of their exclusivity deal have never been disclosed - the length of exclusivity hasn't been disclosed


For RokuTVs, exclusivity ends on about May 18th 2015, although up until a few weeks ago exclusivity wasn't going to apply to RokuTV at all, but that changed.

There are enough variables, negotiations and options to renew that we really aren't sure when it will end for Roku STB devices, (although I believe going forward from 05/18/2015 it probably won't apply to newly purchased devices - unless DISHWorld opts to renew.)

They have nothing for American Indians content language so I wanted to ask if they would allow a waiver for all American Indian content - but they want to keep their options open, and have developers PAY them to have said content available on roku, and then it gets merged into their expensive package deals as you get bought out. No thanks - we'll just provide said content on every device EXCEPT roku.


I can't imagine that we would hold up a Native American channel over Dishworld, but if we did, it would only be about 6 month hold - Automatic exclusivity waiver is on a language basis, so DISHWorld would have to create a separate Navajo channel, a Hopi channel, a Tlingit channel etc within 6 months of our filing the request for a waiver... of course they could invite you to be part of their network, which also would prevent us from carrying the channel as a stand-alone. Interestingly, DISHWorlds business model pays the channel owner revenue to be on their platform.

You would have to think there is some kind of vetting process for channels that pay Roku for their premium support like Hulu, Netflix, Dishworld, etc - it'd be both a problem for roku and these other businesses if something somehow got in that shouldn't be there.


This has more to do with whether the channel is "General Audience" or not, and if it has a predominance of a particular language, plus I think there are some provisions in the DISHWorld contract that allow TVOD and SVOD under certain circumstances.

- Joel
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