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  #1  
Old 05-03-2009, 10:19 AM
TV time TV time is offline
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Why are all art works blurred on HGTV shows?

My wife is a big fan of the HG network and for the last six months or so I have been noticing that the art work of the origional owners' homes on the network's shows is blurred. Other times it has been obvious that it has been removed completely.

We thought about possibly copyright problems, but this sounds illogical.

We also thought about fear of theives, but this also sounds somewhat ridiculous since indications are in some cases that the stuff on the wall are prints.

It even occured to us that some of it might be stolen art that the owners did not want shown, but the sheer numbers of this makes this stupid.

So why do they blur out all the art?
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2009, 10:45 AM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
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For the smae reasons why the folks being filmed need to sign releases and you can't use music in a show you don't have rights to. They can either:

1. ignore the rights issue hoping they don't get that 1 in 100 chance the artist cries foul and wants money
2. find every single rights holder of every single object in every single frame of film and contact them with a release.
3. Blur it out and not have to deal with it.
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2009, 10:49 AM
in hiding in hiding is offline
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I noticed that in Penn Jillette's youtube videos - no idea why they do that. I'd expect that people doing podcasts or putting videos online would want the world to see what art they like.

Maybe because of some licensing trouble? As long as they only show their own stuff, they have full controll on their licensing. As soon as they show artwork, that might be more complicated (or impossible).
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2009, 11:20 AM
Loach Loach is online now
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Boobies. When it's abstract art: Abstract Boobies.
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  #5  
Old 05-03-2009, 11:48 AM
AuntiePam AuntiePam is offline
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I've noticed blurring on clothing too -- especially tee-shirts. I assumed it was because there was something obscene (or political) on the shirt, but they even blur shirts on little kids. Does Hannah Montana really care? Maybe.
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2009, 11:57 AM
Loach Loach is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntiePam View Post
I've noticed blurring on clothing too -- especially tee-shirts. I assumed it was because there was something obscene (or political) on the shirt, but they even blur shirts on little kids. Does Hannah Montana really care? Maybe.
Sometimes it is for other reasons. In televised poker they will blur some of the sponsors. Top poker players are sponsored by various companies. I'm pretty sure WSOP still has a rule that a player can only show the logo of one sponsor. They blur out the logos of the other sponsors.
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2009, 12:20 PM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
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Originally Posted by AuntiePam View Post
I've noticed blurring on clothing too -- especially tee-shirts. I assumed it was because there was something obscene (or political) on the shirt, but they even blur shirts on little kids. Does Hannah Montana really care? Maybe.
Hannah might not. Disney most certainly does.
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2009, 12:58 AM
Cyberhwk Cyberhwk is offline
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Originally Posted by Loach View Post
I'm pretty sure WSOP still has a rule that a player can only show the logo of one sponsor. They blur out the logos of the other sponsors.
They tried to COMPLETELY ban it one year until the online poker rooms threw a fit.
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  #9  
Old 05-04-2009, 11:10 AM
Dan Norder Dan Norder is offline
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Originally Posted by TV time View Post
We thought about possibly copyright problems, but this sounds illogical.
Not sure why you thought it was illogical. They need permission to display artwork that's copyrighted by someone else on their shows. Blurring is easier.
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2010, 02:16 PM
cudavee cudavee is offline
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stupid

they also blur the logos on cars. Guess it's just typical 21st. century $$$ bullsh*t. Like anybody really cares. Shakespeare had it right....first, kill all the lawyers
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  #11  
Old 08-05-2010, 03:11 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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There's no legal reason to blur a company logo -- as long as it's on an item made by the company, they can't complain about the use. Logos are blurred because of deals made with other companies that prevent you from using a competitors logo; or it's a matter of the production company asking for money for product placement and not wanting the owner of the logo to say, "Hey, you did our competitors for free; why not ours." But showing a trademark on a legitimately trademarked item is perfectly legal, as is mentioning the name of the company. Free speech trumps trademark law.

For the paintings, though, it's not trademark; it's copyright. You are making a copy of the work when you film it. You can't make a copy without the permission of the owner of the copyright. If an artist decided to sue you, you're probably screwed.
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  #12  
Old 08-05-2010, 03:17 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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T-shirts and baseball caps with writing on them are blurred on Mythbusters.
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  #13  
Old 08-05-2010, 03:20 PM
yanceylebeef yanceylebeef is offline
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They did it to our house and our neighbor's place when we were on Trading Spaces. Claimed it was for copyright reasons.
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  #14  
Old 08-05-2010, 09:52 PM
kbear kbear is offline
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Was there already a thread about your experience on Trading Spaces? Was it fun?
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  #15  
Old 08-06-2010, 08:01 AM
yanceylebeef yanceylebeef is offline
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Originally Posted by kbear View Post
Was there already a thread about your experience on Trading Spaces? Was it fun?
Yep, here is the original thread....

Like I said in the original, I'm glad I did it, but probably wouldn't want to do it again.

Last edited by yanceylebeef; 08-06-2010 at 08:01 AM.. Reason: can't spell
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  #16  
Old 08-06-2010, 08:49 AM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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It's a copyright issue. There's a famous case about it, Ringgold v. BET. It involved an artist who was pissed because a reproduction of her work was shown unblurred and without permission on the set of the sitcom "Roc."

You can't violate copyright even if the use objectively benefits the copyright holder, ie by promoting their work.
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  #17  
Old 08-06-2010, 03:44 PM
digs digs is offline
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Thanks for the idea-- I'm going to market Pre-Blurred Art.

Visitors to your house will assume they're in One Fine Media-Worthy Crib. And maybe even currently on a reality show!

For a few extra bucks, I'll pixellate my artwork for you.

Last edited by digs; 08-06-2010 at 03:44 PM..
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  #18  
Old 08-12-2010, 10:53 AM
SmackFu SmackFu is offline
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Originally Posted by salinqmind View Post
T-shirts and baseball caps with writing on them are blurred on Mythbusters.
The bizarre part of that is that they could just not wear them.

This is what they do in most reality shows: ban the contestants from bringing clothes with logos so they don't have to deal with it.
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  #19  
Old 08-12-2010, 11:04 AM
Balance Balance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
It's a copyright issue. There's a famous case about it, Ringgold v. BET. It involved an artist who was pissed because a reproduction of her work was shown unblurred and without permission on the set of the sitcom "Roc."

You can't violate copyright even if the use objectively benefits the copyright holder, ie by promoting their work.
Which is further proof that our copyright system is barking mad.
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  #20  
Old 08-12-2010, 11:08 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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What I can't figure out is why AFV now blurs out the date that's on so many home videos. Like is it some sort of state secret that the dog peeing on the bridesmaid did so at 12:46:12 on 09/03/2009 or something? They didn't use to do this and now it seems to be universal.
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  #21  
Old 08-12-2010, 11:21 AM
GHO57 GHO57 is offline
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What I find odd is some TV-shows blurring the emblems of cars.
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  #22  
Old 08-12-2010, 11:38 AM
SmackFu SmackFu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
What I can't figure out is why AFV now blurs out the date that's on so many home videos. Like is it some sort of state secret that the dog peeing on the bridesmaid did so at 12:46:12 on 09/03/2009 or something? They didn't use to do this and now it seems to be universal.
That one seems pretty clear to me: so you don't realize how old the content they're reusing is.
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  #23  
Old 08-12-2010, 11:38 AM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
What I can't figure out is why AFV now blurs out the date that's on so many home videos. Like is it some sort of state secret that the dog peeing on the bridesmaid did so at 12:46:12 on 09/03/2009 or something? They didn't use to do this and now it seems to be universal.
Actually, it's to hide the fact that most americans are stupid...they're blurring out:

12:00:00 01/01/1980

Last edited by Unintentionally Blank; 08-12-2010 at 11:38 AM..
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  #24  
Old 08-12-2010, 11:46 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmackFu View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
What I can't figure out is why AFV now blurs out the date that's on so many home videos. Like is it some sort of state secret that the dog peeing on the bridesmaid did so at 12:46:12 on 09/03/2009 or something? They didn't use to do this and now it seems to be universal.
That one seems pretty clear to me: so you don't realize how old the content they're reusing is.
I wouldn't say that, once in a while they'll show something that looks like it was converted from 8mm home movies and it's still gold. If a video sits in someone's shelf for 10 years before they send it in, I don't really care.
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  #25  
Old 08-12-2010, 05:46 PM
Duke of Rat Duke of Rat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberhwk View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
I'm pretty sure WSOP still has a rule that a player can only show the logo of one sponsor. They blur out the logos of the other sponsors.
They tried to COMPLETELY ban it one year until the online poker rooms threw a fit.
Slight Hijack:

2006 was the year a few of us went out to cheer a Doper on in the WSOP. This is also right after online poker became gray area illegal. PokerStars was heavily represented (our Doper was sponsored by them), and all the swag handed out had PokerStars.com on it. The .com was a huge deal, it could not be televised. You can televise .net, PokerStars.net commercials run nonstop during the televised WSOP coverage now. So gaffer's tape and even unraveling the embroidery was rampant as things got under way.

Thanks Aholibah for the PokerStars.com WSOP players hat and tee!
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  #26  
Old 08-13-2010, 08:11 AM
ministryman ministryman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
What I can't figure out is why AFV now blurs out the date that's on so many home videos. Like is it some sort of state secret that the dog peeing on the bridesmaid did so at 12:46:12 on 09/03/2009 or something? They didn't use to do this and now it seems to be universal.
So they can recycle the same video over and over again when no one is sending them material.
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  #27  
Old 08-17-2011, 05:04 PM
sfurr sfurr is offline
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Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
It's a copyright issue. There's a famous case about it, Ringgold v. BET. It involved an artist who was pissed because a reproduction of her work was shown unblurred and without permission on the set of the sitcom "Roc."

You can't violate copyright even if the use objectively benefits the copyright holder, ie by promoting their work.
Okay, so there's a famous case about it. Your citation doesn't show that the case had any merit. It leaves the whole issue up in the air, since the lower court made a mistake in issuing summary judgement. The appeals court reversed the summary judgement and turned it back to the district court. What happened after that? It appears to have been settled or abandoned.

Granted, it blows holes in fair use defenses *in the context of set decoration*. Bear in mind that set decoration takes a conscious act to feature the art work in the production of a fictional progam (or possibly, say, a news/editorial program).

Since no decision was ultimately rendered on the underlying claim, the status is confused.

For nonfiction programs where set decoration is not a feature, the fair use defense may well still apply.

The problems here are:
- The typical television producer has no more clue of IP law than the average internet poster (which is to say virtually nil)
- The typical corporate lawyer is such a conservative beast that he/she is apt to tell you to sit on your hands all day for fear of injuring someone
- Nobody really wants to spend the money on being the test case, when they are already dealing regularly with copyright clearances/licensing or simply blurring

N.B. as indicated, this applies to art work. Logos (trademark) have nothing to do with rights issues, just with maintaining good commercial relations with promotional partners who pay to have their products features.
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  #28  
Old 08-17-2011, 06:34 PM
River Hippie River Hippie is offline
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I'm a guitar nut and have noticed a few times that the logos on the headstock have been blurred out or covered with a different sticker or electrical tape. Can't think of a specific example but I've seen it a few times.
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  #29  
Old 08-17-2011, 07:07 PM
Dan Norder Dan Norder is offline
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Originally Posted by sfurr View Post
Okay, so there's a famous case about it. Your citation doesn't show that the case had any merit.
1) Zombie thread.

2) Um, of course it had merit. The artwork was displayed to the public in a commercial product without the copyright owner's permission. If it had no merit it would not have gotten as far as it had in the first place and the appeal court would have said it had no merit instead of sending it back for further review over some of the points.

3) Hi, Opal!
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