Re: Re-Broadcasting video/audio legal?

Michael Sattler (
Thu, 11 May 1995 20:44:36 -0700

At 17:52 5/1/95, Iain Davidson wrote:

>What if I point my camera to my TV? Re-broadcast my local run of Star
>Trek to the next.
>Now.. my guess is that this isn't covered under the FCC rules...

Wrong guess. You're mixing together two actions, use of a particular
medium and forwarding of copyrighted material. The FCC regulates the use
of media; it's unlawful for non-broadcasters to "broadcast" material on
FCC-regulated media, period, unless in the course of "health and welfare
traffic". I'm guessing the OK television broadcast was (1) under this
category and (2) rebroadcast with permission of the copyright holder.

Other than on specific media, the FCC doesn't regulates the "downstream"
use of broadcasted material, the FBI does. You may tape (for later replay)
or forward the images of a copyrighted item only at the pleasure of the
copyright holder.

>Think of ham-radio operators or short-wave operators. I believe they all
>have to be 'certified broadcastors' (with registered call-sign) even to
>'legally' speak on the air-waves.

Bzzzzzt! Wrong again. There is a great difference between any of the
different ham certifications (which allow one to use a particular
wavelength) and any of the broadcaster certifications (be they marine or
commercial broadcaster). KE6DZF here :-)

>What state law or federal law have I broken? What if I were to PGP
>encrypt the video packets so only 'my friends' can see it? I don't have
>a problem with CU-SeeMe rebroadcasting, as long as I 1) don't receive any
>monetary gains, and 2) Don't claim ownership of originality or authorship
>of broadcast.

It's not what problem you have with the act, it's what problem the
copyright holder has, now that you've diluted the market for their product.

Michael Sattler <> |
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