You Streamed What? Copyright Infringement Pitfalls During COVID-19
Article By Ann Potter Gleason
The National Law Review
May 29, 2020

In the sudden transition from in-person to online presentation of content precipitated by the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, some educators and other presenters have run headlong into the digital world without a thought to the application of copyright law to their online presentations. Scrambling to provide content, did some consider the sufficiency of their internet bandwidth and the security of their video-conferencing platform while overlooking copyright infringement issues? Caution. Those office webinars, college lectures, music lessons, and club meetings can be fraught with legal pitfalls.

Although we are slowly emerging from our bunkers and cautiously lifting our masks while maintaining social distance, some have predicted that online meetings and classes are here to stay—at least in some form. Thus, these copyright infringement pitfalls merit consideration. Granted, any attempt to treat this matter comprehensively in a 1500 word article is a fool’s errand. And when it comes to these highly fact-specific matters, there’s no substitute for an attorney’s legal advice. But some basic education on copyright law and some understanding of the distinctions between copyright as applied to education versus other areas might assist those unaccustomed to the online stage from stumbling into a battle over copyright infringement.

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