In this week’s episode of the Briefing by the IP Law Blog, Scott Hervey and Josh Escovedo discuss recent news stories reporting that police officers played copyrighted music during filmed encounters, ostensibly to keep the videos from being uploaded to the Internet. Scott and Josh discuss how copyright law, the DMCA, and fair use

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of news articles and stories about police officers playing popular music during a citizen/officer interaction that is being filmed by the citizen.  For example, Vice reported on a Beverly Hills police officer breaking out his phone and playing over a minute of Sublime’s “Santeria” when the officer discovered that his interaction with a well-known LA-area activist was being live-streamed by the citizen via Instagram.  Similarly, Mashable reported that an Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy played a Taylor Swift song during an encounter.  Why is this happening?  There seems to be a belief that police service, when paired with a musical interlude, will prevent a recording of the interaction from being posted on social media due to algorithms that detect and remove videos incorporating copyrighted music (among other types of content).

Continue Reading Don’t Film So Close To Me: Can Copyrighted Music Keep Vids of Police Encounters Off The Internet?