Oxford, CT asked in Copyright for Connecticut

Q: Can I stream myself reading a book on YouTube or Twitch?

I just wanna read to the Internet in this time of coronavirus. The books are on my shelf, I own them.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Anthony Santangelo
Anthony Santangelo
Answered

A: To be on the safe side I would read from a book that’s out of copyright protection which is roughly 2 lifetimes. Other than that you’re probably technically infringing on the Writers Copyright. There are many exemptions for example research, education, parody etc. I think reading an entire work and creating an audio file of it and publishing it would infringe the copyright of the original writer. it may be possible to just get their permission?

Thanks!!

Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer

Bill Hulsey
Bill Hulsey
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Austin, TX

A: Yes. No copyright infringement here. Your stream is a new work that you create. YOu are not copying the book, but creating a new performance.

Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer

Bill Hulsey
Bill Hulsey
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Austin, TX

A: In reflection, I must add that the work you are creating is a derivative work. Accordingly, that is covered by the copyright law. Here is the operative section:

17 U.S. Code § 103.Subject matter of copyright: Compilations and derivative works

(a)The subject matter of copyright as specified by section 102 includes compilations and derivative works, but protection for a work employing preexisting material in which copyright subsists does not extend to any part of the work in which such material has been used unlawfully.

(b)The copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only to the material contributed by the author of such work, as distinguished from the preexisting material employed in the work, and does not imply any exclusive right in the preexisting material. The copyright in such work is independent of, and does not affect or enlarge the scope, duration, ownership, or subsistence of, any copyright protection in the preexisting material.

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