With our impending elections, it is a great time to consider whether one of our politicians is allowed to use any artist’s song to rally the crowd. What copyright protection does an artist have against your works becoming the battle-cry anthem for a Poli?

Flash to Donald Trump and “Eye of the Tiger” at present. Were you aware that Steven Tyler, Adele and Neil Young (to name a few) all respectfully asked Mr. Trump to cease using their songs? It has been assured that the Trump Team did have all of the licenses through the venues under their blanket music license,so my copyright infringement issues to date.

But what are the copyright rules here in Australia? A blanket music license, such as one sought from APRA AMCOS could be sufficient to allow the song to be bellowed from the speakers at an event. So then there is the question of Moral Rights. Under the Copyright Act, an artist right of integrity authorship allows their “right not to have the work subjected to derogatory treatment” which may eventuate due the “exhibition in public of the work that is prejudicial to the author’s honour or reputation because of the manner or place in which the exhibition occurs” (Section 195AK).

Further, does the use of the song by a Politician then infer that the artist is endorsing the Politician and Political Party? If not, then does this cause misleading and deceptive conduct under Section 18 of the ACL Australian Consumer Law?

It will be interesting to see which songs are selected by our Poli’s as they start the long sprint to the voting day. Will they get it right – the song, the license and the polite and private permission from the artistic authors?

Untapped Agency is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

How many times have you entered yourself into a competition which requires a Selfie doing something specific to be eligible? Usually this very innocent with the Competition Host (brand owner) asking to to do something fun or special showcasing their product.

Recently in the UK with travel company Thomson, this competition was no different. In fact, it was lovely. All contestants need do was send in a photo that made them smile. Five lucky winners would then receive a £2,000 holiday voucher.

A winning entrant was from David Bellis with his three year old son Jacob. They posed with a horse in the background. How sweet. They were standing on public land and the horse was on private property. When details of the competition were published, the owner of the horse in the photo (called Betty – the horse that it), the owner claimed they never gave consent for Betty’s image to be taken and wanted a some of the winnings for themselves. She even threatened that David and Jacob be removed as winners of the competition.

So what are the rules for copyright ownership in a situation like this in Australia?

In the Australian Copyright Act 1968, Betty’s owner can not claim ownership of the photo. This is because the photographer – in this case David – owns the photo and may use it for their own discretion.

So here in Australia, is this a privacy issue? According to the Arts Law Centre of Australia, taking a photo from a public place has no restriction on taking photographs of people on private property. Precedence law (Victoria Park Racing and Recreation Grounds Co Ltd v Taylor (1937)) details that if you can be seen then you can be photographed. So if people who are photographed on their property from a public location have no legal claim against you if what is captured in the photograph can be seen from the street, then could we be a little assumptive that this also applies for our animals?

An interesting situation to consider when you are photographing and posting your life online.

Untapped Agency is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.