Can a person sell a DVD which has a compilation of celebrity interviews that are part of a news show?

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Can a person sell a DVD which has a compilation of celebrity interviews that are part of a news show?

(They would have been broadcasted through cable TV. I am unclear as to the laws for copyright – it becomes a little muddy in my understanding. Although I fully realize that I cannot record television shows off of cable TV and sell them, I was wondering if I compile a few interviews and sell them.

Asked on January 3, 2011 under Business Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The answer is simple--NO. Someone else will own the copyright--either the production or news company, the broadcaster, or possibly the celebrity (if part of the deal for him or  her to do the interview was to get copyright). In any event, material like this is not "public domain," or free to use, but rather copyrighted. Copyright means that no one but the copyright owner can copy, reproduce, create adapted or derivative works (including complilations), sell, etc. the material without  the copyright owner's permission (which, even if you can get, you'd typically have to pay for). The fact that you're complining rather than selling an entire taped or recorded show at a time has no impact; this would be a clear copyright breach.


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