AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,884 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not really sure this is the right forum but the blurb on the menu page says this is where HDTV copyright issues are discussed, so here goes.


I sometimes play with making enhancement layers using various algorithms. These are binary files containing the needed info expressing the difference between a low resolution video and one of a higher resolution, say about 4 times as many pixels. There are a number of ways to do this and basically most of them will more or less work, creating a high definition video with pretty much as much resolution as you want with not too much extra overhead more than just encoding a single HD clip. Of course you have to start off with a quality high resolution source.


These enhancement layers (files) by themselves do not contain any playable video since they only contain "extra" resolution. The basic video has to be from some other lower resolution file, say an encoded SDTV clip, or a DVD.


But this means that it would be possible to take an HDTV recording and (painstakingly) match it to the DVD, just encoding the upscaled differences. Then, to watch the movie in HDTV you would need to be playing both the DVD and the enhancement layer simultaneously, merging them on a very fast PC. But this would likely be possible


So here is the question ...


If someone posted enhancement files like this on the Internet, would they even violate copyright? They don't contain the movie and can't even be played without access to the DVD which probably means you have already paid for a license to view that show. All they would do is make the picture HD.


Hollywood lawyers being how they are, I assume they would object to this somehow.


But could they?


- Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
This is interesting, but I can not imagine what the benefit would be to this if you already have the high-res source material to begin with.


Seems like alot of work for nothing to me.


Can you explain the benefit to this versus just playing the high-res source material?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,805 Posts
The benefit would be that only the original creator of the code would need access to the high-res source. Sharing that code (assuming it's legal) would allow an upgrade to anyone that owns the DVD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,325 Posts
I'm quite certain that this would be a copyright violation. The enhancement layer is derived entirely from copyrighted material, and so is copyrighted itself, regardless of what a user would need to play it back.


The license that comes with a DVD grants the user the right to watch that DVD in his home - not any other form of the movie, like a film print, VHS copy, or HDTV recording.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,633 Posts
Quote:
Of course you have to start off with a quality high resolution source.
Since your enhancement layer sounds like it is derived from an HD version of the movie/show in question, and you are integrating it into a low resolution version of the same movie/show, it would probably violate IP laws.


However, if you had a method that took a low resolution source and "enhanced" it without using the corresponding high resolution source as a basis for the "enhancement layer", I do not see that constituting a violation.


Just my ill-informed opinion on which you should not rely. If you are considering an income-producing business based on your method, it would definitely be in your interest to consult an IP attorney.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,884 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
The license that comes with a DVD grants the user the right to watch that DVD in his home - not any other form of the movie, like a film print, VHS copy, or HDTV recording.
Yes, but you would not have to distribute the DVD. And anyone watching the HD version would be watching their DVD, just enhanced a bit.


But it is true the enhancement layer would be partly derived from the DVD, so it would maybe be a derived work subject to whatever rules govern those things.


Though I still question whether it could be considered a copy subject to any copyright license.


- Tom (usual disclaimer, not a lawyer)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,325 Posts
They wouldn't just be watching their DVD. They would be watching a reconstruction of the HDTV broadcast that you used to generate the enhancement layer.


The enhancement layer is derived from an HDTV broadcast, and that means 1) it is copyrighted, and 2) you are only licensed to view it under the terms of the license agreement for whatever you got the HDTV recording from - HBO, Showtime, etc.


If you want a more realistic scenario that you can search for, try to figure out if you can legally copy a CD just because you own a cassette tape of the same album.


The point here is that the license that comes with the DVD gives you the right to view that DVD in your home, and not some other form of the movie, like an HDTV recording of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,884 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So at what point does data about a copyrighted work actually become considered a copy of it?


For instance if I just reported the average brightness of a video I would just be stating facts. If I reported the average brightness of each frame that is probably also true. But if I reported the average brightness of each macro block or even each pixel then it becomes a (possibly smaller) monochrome copy of the video. Somewhere in between it managed to become a copy of a copyrighted work


I don't think the law has really addressed this issue yet but I'd not really be in a position to know.


You might think that if I reported enough information to mostly reconstruct a movie then I had made a copy of it. But what if I report only enough information that the HD movie can be reconstructed only using the licensed DVD? Lawyers could argue either side of this issue, and probably will since I do not think copyright law has yet really been defined in information theoretic terms.


- Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,325 Posts
It doesn't matter whether what you're making is a copy or not. If it's derived from the copyrighted work, it's copyrighted. If you take a single still frame from a movie, that's copyrighted. If you take the top third of every frame, that's copyrighted. The only exceptions would be for fair use, and there you're talking about small excerpts for purposes of review, etc.
 

·
Registered
LG 55" C9 OLED, Yamaha RX-A660, Monoprice 5.1.2 Speakers, WMC HTPC, TiVo Bolt, X1
Joined
·
45,753 Posts
What are you doing in Rochester, NY? That's a long way from A squared, my friend. Anyways, I thought you were an engineer, not a lawyer!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,884 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
If it's derived from the copyrighted work, it's copyrighted.
I'm not so sure of this. True facts about a copyrighted work are not necessarily copyrighted. For instance I can say "The Matrix" has a greenish tint and that statement is likely not covered under copyright. Likewise my comments above about average luma up to a certain point.


To the extent it becomes an issue then the law may have to better define this. Possibly as you state it already has done so but I'm not sure that is the best interpretation of the current law.


- Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,325 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Ken H
What are you doing in Rochester, NY? That's a long way from A squared, my friend. Anyways, I thought you were an engineer, not a lawyer!
Yeah, I thought I was an engineer too. Somehow I ended up at the University of Rochester. But there isn't enough engineering going on here for my tastes.
 

·
Registered
LG 55" C9 OLED, Yamaha RX-A660, Monoprice 5.1.2 Speakers, WMC HTPC, TiVo Bolt, X1
Joined
·
45,753 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by balazer
Yeah, I thought I was an engineer too. Somehow I ended up at the University of Rochester. But there isn't enough engineering going on here for my tastes.
Well then, aren't you just the chap to get them up to speed?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,068 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by trbarry
For instance I can say "The Matrix" has a greenish tint and that statement is likely not covered under copyright.
Fair comment and criticism would cover your statement. However, if you were to open a coffee shop and call it "The Matrix Has a Greenish Tint" you could expect the lawyers at your door in a heartbeat. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,557 Posts
ClearPlay is a fantastic example of this. In that scenario, they were removing information (cuss words, objectionable scenes, etc.). I'm not sure they lost, but they got sued into oblivion anyway (which is a shame, since, as a former youth pastor, that type of technology has valid uses).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,392 Posts
Tom:

Independenly of whether or not your technology is legal, get a patent on it!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,046 Posts
Let's look at the issue this way: If you made a diff file between Windows 95 and Windows XP Pro, such that if you ran Windows 95 and the diff file simulatneously on a fast computer you'd get Windows XP Pro, would Microsoft agree that it's ok?


I think not...


--Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,884 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
is an open source project (not mine) named Monolith that enables and explores similar technology. See:

http://monolith.sourceforge.net/

Quote:
Monolith can be used for exploring the boundaries of digital copyright, and the rest of this website is devoted to such an exploration. The core questions: What happens when we use Monolith to munge copyrighted files? What is the copyright status of the resulting .mono file? These questions are considered in depth below.



Note:

Monolith was developed on a lark. It is a philosophical experiment, a curiosity, and perhaps even a hare-brained scheme. In any case, Monolith is meant to stir debate: a perfect, flawless system would not stir debate very well, would it? Monolith exists comfortably in a world of logical gymnastics. The real world of copyright does not operate in a logical fashion. Thus, a word of warning: if you apply Monolith in the real world, your legal mileage may vary.
I particularly liked the last sentence in the above quote. ;)


- Tom
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top