June 2008 Newsletter

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Welcome to the Photo to Movie Newsletter

June 2008

Welcome to the June 2008 edition of the Photo to Movie newsletter! We're now on the cusp of Spring and Summer, a season that brings with it perhaps more photo opportunities than any other. The occasional trip to the beach or walk in the park warrants at least a few snapshots, but let's not forget about Mother's Day, Father's Day, graduations, and the typical myriad of summer weddings. Hopefully your Summer 2008 will be a busy and photo-filled one!

In light of all these various events, it's important to remember what you can and cannot use in your Photo to Movie slideshows due to copyright restrictions. In this edition of the newsletter we offer a brief primer on the confusingly detailed laws surrounding concepts like "fair use," and provide links to websites where you can download images and music to use absolutely free and legally!

So pat your parent, newlywed, or recent grad on the back and send them off into the remainder of 2008 with hope -- and remember to take a few pictures while you're at it!

Photo to Movie 4.1.3 (Mac OS) available now

The newest update of Photo to Movie (Mac OS) is ready! Photo to Movie 4.1.3 features the following enhancements:

  • Performance improvements during preview and rendering.
  • Rendering improvements when using H.264.
  • Media browser interface and bug adjustments.
  • Transition improvements including a new Extended Plug-in Transition named Color Drop.
  • Several other minor bug fixes and additional user interface improvements.

If you're already updated to Photo to Movie 4.1.0 or later, you can get the new version by launching Photo to Movie and choosing the menu item Photo to Movie > Check for Updates...

If you haven't updated to Photo to Movie 4.1 yet, you can find out more information and upgrade here:

https://store.lqgraphics.com/software/phototomovieupgrade.php

An update to Photo to Movie (Windows) is also in the works. Look for it in the coming months!

Father's Day is June 15th

Just a friendly reminder that Father's Day is right around the corner! Attention last minute shoppers: Photo to Movie 4.1 makes an exceptional gift for home photo enthusiasts. Absolutely no technical skills are required to operate Photo to Movie! Have your dad making slideshows with old family photos in no time at all. Use our great training videos:

http://www.lqgraphics.com/software/phototomovietutorials.php

For those of you who already own Photo to Movie, remember that slideshows are a quickly-made and inexpensive gift for any dad, and can say far more than any blockbuster film DVD, tie, or golf club set. What better a gift for Father's Day then the story of your dad's fatherhood, told with pictures your family took and music you select? Show births, first steps, doctor's appointments, school registration, high school, college, marriage -- encapsulate an entire life within a matter of minutes. Get started on your Father's Day slideshow today!

Copyrights, Digital Files, and Your Slideshows

Some of the most frequently asked questions the Photo to Movie team receives are related to using copyrighted images and music in slideshows. A good example: If I find a photo of the Eiffel Tower through a Google search and place it in a slideshow, am I required to check the copyright?

Any photos, music, or movies that you create, personally, are your own intellectual property, and you are free to use them however you'd like. But what if your slideshow feels incomplete without an online photo of the Empire State Building or an mp3 of a John Mayer hit? It's important to remember how we can use someone else's intellectual property without overstepping the boundaries of infringement. This article will explain a few of the basics.

Tips About Images

Most photos and digital artworks are copyrighted and cannot be used without consent of the copyright holder. There are some images, however, that are considered public domain -- in other words, not owned by anybody -- and they can be used for ANY purpose by any individual.

Most public domain photos are either released as such by the original creator, or fall into the public domain over time. United States Copyright Law says that a copyright only lasts for 70 years beyond the death of the "author."

A few examples. A digital photograph depicting a painting by Rembrandt is most likely public domain (Rembrandt having died in the 17th century). Likewise, a photograph of downtown New York City in the late 1800's is also probably in the public domain, since the photographer has no doubt been deceased for over 70 years.

It is, however a good idea to research the background of every photo before using it in a slideshow as there are numerous exceptions to these rules.

When seeking images online, note that there are several different types of licenses, some stricter than others. If you'd like to learn about these licenses and also download public domain images of a wide range of subjects for use in your slideshows, try the following websites:

Wikipedia's article about the Creative Commons, a popular online image, music, and text database:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_licenses

Wikimedia Commons, where one can search through thousands of images (some public domain):

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Tips About Music

The copyright rules pertaining to music are far more rigid, and perhaps no other medium's copyrights have been as infringed upon or as hotly debated since file-sharing on the internet began.

There is a basic rule of thumb with musical recordings: they are ALL copyrighted.

This means you cannot copy, alter or distribute any of these songs without contacting the copyright holders and obtaining permission, and/or purchasing limited rights. There are also copyrights for both performances and the music being performed as well. So if you were to use John Coltrane's immortal version of "My Favorite Things," you would not only need to obtain permission from the saxophonist's estate but also from Rodgers and Hammerstein's.

To check out some public domain music try the following websites:

http://creativecommons.org/audio

http://www.musopen.com/

What is Fair Use?

So, what if you absolutely have to use a copyrighted photo or song in your slideshow? Will the lawyers come knocking at your door if you create a birthday video for your wife using Fleetwood Mac's "You Make Loving Fun"?

Part of staying on the safe side of these issues is to assume that all material is copyrighted unless you know otherwise. Copyright infringement is punishable by imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000!

The term "fair use" describes the conditions under which copyrighted material can be used without permission. There are very few legitimate examples of this outside of classrooms and TV shows like Saturday Night Live that parody films and songs.

So what constitutes "fair use"? With photos, observing them in the privacy of your home is considered "fair use." With music, listening to the recording at home, in the car, or from your iPod is also considered "fair use."

This doesn't mean that you should leave out a copyrighted image or song from a slideshow. If it fits, include it. But if you do, it will limit the number of people and places where you can show your slideshow.

For example, if you upload a slideshow to YouTube with a copyrighted song, it's an infringement and will most likely be deleted. But you could email this same slideshow to a select number of family members and friends for their own personal and private enjoyment. While it's good to exercise caution even with situations such as these, they are ordinarily deemed acceptable.

Hopefully we've given you some tips on how to create the perfect slideshow while remaining within the boundaries of US Copyright Laws. Our international readers should definitely visit the home pages of their respective country's copyright offices, as the rules are very different all over the world. If you're curious to learn more about the fun subject of US copyright, read the full version of this article (that's right, there's even MORE to it!) here:

http://www.lqgraphics.com/software/article_copyright.php

Work for Photo to Movie's Tech Support Department

Are you good with computers? Do you find yourself often troubleshooting technological problems for your friends? Then why not work for Photo to Movie's customer support department?

You would be responsible for working customer issues such as installations, maintenance, upgrade, and billing through to resolution. In addition, you would help build a customer support database for addressing the most common problems Photo to Movie customers have. You'd probably work between 10 and 20 hours per month.

All support is done online, so no phone experience is required for this position.

If you think you're the person for the job, read more about the requirements at our website! We'd love to hear from you.

http://www.lqgraphics.com/software/jobs.php

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LQ Graphics, Inc., 7172 Regional Street #297, Dublin, CA 94568