Legal Aspects for Digital Signage 101
I thought I’d bring this up again since I just saw a video of a digital signage presentation that I believe breached several legal aspects. I want our readers to understand this clearly before they take the next step further.
The first legal area is about copyright. Yes, it’s something we all know about but the Internet provides us with so much as information, images and videos that we sometimes forget how easily the content can be easily re-used. So for those creating content, don’t be tempted to just use content that you find on the Internet. There are many companies out there that is able to provide stock images, videos, templates etc. Most importantly, in the video I noticed that there was an option to add an RSS news feed from CNN news. Even thought the video was a demonstration of a digital signage system, I believe there was a breach in the RSS terms and conditions. The CNN website clearly mentions that the use of the RSS is for non-commercial purposes. We previously talked about breacking RSS copyright laws in the post titled: Are you breaching RSS copyright laws? By the way, in that post we mentioned that we were getting 100 RSS feeds per day(statistics from early 2009 and as of today, we receive over 1000 feeds per day).
The second legal area is about overlaying RSS text or advertisements or any other type of content over live TV feeds. We also talked about this in one of our previous posts titled Embedding live video content in digital signage. Is this a breach of copyright in Australia? For example, if you were showing a live feed of a soccer match and you overlayed an RSS feed at the bottom of the actual feed then you’re breaching some of the broadcasters terms and conditions. Besides all the legal jargon that you will find on the broadcasters websites, I believe the main reasons why commercial businesses are not allowed to do this is for the following reasons:
1. It costs big money to broadcast video content and they make the majority of their money by displaying advertisements during the ad breaks. By you displaying other content such as ads then the broadcasters are not making money from you and they obviously want to avoid this.
2. The broadcasters do not want to give the viewers the impression and confusion that the other content on the live TV feed is actually displayed from them. They don’t want the affiliation simply because they are unable to control what is displayed on the screen. Just image you’re displaying live TV of a news channel and all of a sudden you display an overlay RSS feed of the CNN news. Now, that will be confusing.
I simply want to make our readers, system integrators or digital signage users aware of some of these legal issues because I don’t want you to be in a legal battle – I’d rather you spend the time rolling out digital signage solutions than sitting in a court case. I also thought that our readers needed to be better educated on how to best use the features in a digital signage system and not breach any laws.
Has these laws changed? If not, then think twice before you use some of the advanced features in a digital signage system and don’t blame the solution provider or manufacturer for giving you the functionality to do this!
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