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Need help: IP violation on play store

Discussion in 'Mobile Marketing' started by crestfallen, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. crestfallen

    crestfallen Registered Member

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    Hello everyone, I uploaded my first app to the play store.

    The app is a game wherein players guess the name of a famous person from an image with certain parts of his or her face missing. After giving a correct answer then the missing facial feature appear back in the famous person's face.

    Because I used the images of celebrities in the app, google flagged the app as violating intellectual property.

    I assumed its okay because the images in the app were cropped from the original, tiny in dimension, and low res. In addition the image are being used in the context of a quiz about famous people. I'm no intellectual property expert so maybe I'm wrong and I am in violation. If I am I can handle that, fair use is fair use, I play fair.

    My problem is that if I search the play store celebrity related apps I get gazillions of apps that employs celebrity images, including similar celebrity quiz apps with hundreds of celebrity images. The developers of those apps couldn't have had gotten permission from all those celebrities right?

    What am I missing? How come others get to use celebrity images and I cant?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. mogul1123

    mogul1123 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    google doesnt play fair.. just chop it up as a learning experience.. you cant use famous people faces in app.. those other apps will be banned eventually
     
  3. crestfallen

    crestfallen Registered Member

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    Thanks mogul1123,

    This is a learning experience in fact because due to this I read tons of text about the US Fair Use Doctrine. I figured if I want to succeed as a publisher I better learn a thing or two about it.

    These are just my opinions of course but in my interpretation it is definitely fair use. Here is why I think so based on the 4 criteria in the US Fair Use Doctrine.

    1. Purpose and character of use - yes it is commercial but the use of the images in the app helps fulfill the intention of copyright law to stimulate creativity for the enrichment of the general public (a unique quiz) and it does not "supersede the objects" of the original for reasons of personal profit (the original work is an image of a celebrity for use in publication)

    2. Nature of the copyrighted work - the nature of the copyrighted work is published pictures of PUBLIC figures and is freely available information.

    3. Amount and substantiality - I took large hires images (so it is easy to modify) and saved as low res 200x200 pixels and displayed in the app at 160x160 pixels. Furthermore, I used only a small portion of the image, I cropped away the chin, ears, and hair, to make it more challenging to guess. Finally, the original images had backgrounds, clothes, products, other people, etc.. and I took only less than a whole face, whatever substance the original images was intended for its no longer there.

    4. Effect upon work's value - nothing, there is no adverse effect to the value of the original work.

    Copyright laws are there to help promote creativity by protecting the interest of the author but Fair Use Doctrine is there to mitigate the adverse effect of the copyright laws to its original intention which is to not stipple creativity. I love the combination of the two set of laws, its not perfect but it is still beautiful and elegant.

    The real problem here is that Google, which has no right to do so, decided to be judge, jury, and executioner!
     
  4. crestfallen

    crestfallen Registered Member

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    On 14 November 2013, Judge Denny Chin of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Google Books mass digitisation of millions of books from research library collections is justified under the doctrine of fair use under U.S. copyright law

    soooo.....
     
  5. ChanzGrande

    ChanzGrande Elite Member

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    Excellent app idea. You always could build it on another platform. Since it's the G Play marketplace they actually are fully entitled to decide what level of liability they want to have IF your specific usage should turn out to be an intellectual property rights violation. Big G tends to err on the side of caution relative to this, so most apps of this nature will get banned eventually - unless they constitute a significant profit center for G - in which case they will tend to let it slide since it benefits them financially.

    Sounds like a pretty easy app to promote - just build a facebook version???
     
  6. crestfallen

    crestfallen Registered Member

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    I'm going to make one last appeal then I'm dropping this if they do not consider my reasoning for fair use.

    I dont sweat things that I can't control so here are my parting words on my appeal:

    "I understand Google is going through regarding intellectual property. I am not trying to flatter you but I have nothing but love for Google but if you decide that this app does fall under US Fair Use Doctrine then you are breaking my heart, you are going to a place where I can?t follow. Please, you are supposed to destroy the Sith, not join them."

    corny I know!

    @Davers, maybe I will, thanks for the advice :)
     
  7. crestfallen

    crestfallen Registered Member

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    Just an update to those interested, big G denied my appeal. time to move on :)