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Embedding live video content in digital signage. Is this a breach of copyright in Australia?

Posted: November 16, 2007 at 3:41 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

As you may already know, digital signage is rapidly becoming “the” advertising medium in Australia and around the world.

There are quite a number of digital signage players and digital signage software tools out in the market which allows the screen to be partitioned into different zones. The SMP-WEB3 and NDSP-500 are two great products which perform this very function.

One of the main reasons for creating zones, is to enable live TV, Foxtel, DVD, CCTV or basically any video input source to be displayed on the screen with surrounding advertisements or any type of content. The main advantage of having this setup, is to entertain your audience with live video content whilst at the same time engaging this very audience with advertising material and other information. That’s the beauty about digital signage!

Having said this, there is some speculation whether displaying live video content eg. Cable TV, Foxtel etc. with other content around it is a breach of copyright. Is this the case in Australia? What about in other countries?

When we queried one of the digital signage manufacturers about this, they provided us with the advice that as long as the actual live video content is not modified ie. there is no other content that overlays the live feed, we should be ok. Which seems to make sense to me. I mean, most of the latest LCDs, Plasma Screens and even Set top boxes have a feature called Picture-in-Picture, so what implications are there if we use this very feature to split the screen in half. As an example, we can use the Picture-in-Picture feature to split the screen with FOXTEL showing on one side of the screen and the other half we can display Sales advertisements driven by a local PC. Isn’t this almost the same setup as what a digital signage player does?

We are more than happy to hear you comments about this issue on our forum.

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