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  1. #1
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    Default Who Owns a Copyright After the Creator Passes Away

    My question is this: Who would hold the copyrights of content, mainly videos, after someone has suddenly passed away? How about if the user is a minor or under 13? Would any copyrights automatically go to the parent(s) of the individual? Does a guardian of an estate have any relevance to copyright ownership? I ask in regards to archived streams that i've seen on youtube under the search ᴋᴀᴛᴇʟʏɴ ɴɪᴄᴏʟᴇ ᴅᴀᴠɪs. Would those videos of their archived streams be violating any sort of copyright?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Copyrights and Ownership Regarding Videos by Someone Who Passed

    Copyrights are dealt with as any other asset of an estate is dealt with. It’s really impossible to tell you who would end up with the copyrights as it would require knowledge of information not presented

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Copyrights and Ownership Regarding Videos by Someone Who Passed

    Quote Quoting corganic
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    My question is this: Who would hold the copyrights of content, mainly videos, after someone has suddenly passed away?
    I assume what you're actually asking is this: Connie owns copyrights. When Connie dies, who owns the copyrights that she owned? The answer is that the copyrights are initially owned by Connie's estate and should be transferred in accordance with the terms of Connie's will or, if she didn't have a will, the intestate succession laws of Connie's state of residence at the time of her death (intestate succession laws are laws that say who gets what when a person dies without a will).

    Quote Quoting corganic
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    How about if the user is a minor or under 13?
    User of what? FWIW, my response above is the same whether Connie is a minor or an adult.

    Quote Quoting corganic
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    Would any copyrights automatically go to the parent(s) of the individual?
    Most minors do not have wills, so the intestate succession laws of the minor's state of residence would likely be implicated, but you did not identify any state. I believe it is the case in most, if not all states, that, when a person dies without a will and is not survived by a spouse or children, grandchildren, etc., the deceased's parents inherit the entire estate.

    Quote Quoting corganic
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    Does a guardian of an estate have any relevance to copyright ownership?
    As written, this question makes no sense at all.

    Quote Quoting corganic
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    I ask in regards to archived streams that i've seen on youtube under the search [name omitted]. Would those videos of their archived streams be violating any sort of copyright?
    Rather obviously, determine whether any given video might violate a copyright would require viewing the video.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Copyrights and Ownership Regarding Videos by Someone Who Passed

    I think the OP is asking a broadly applicable question, but one having to do specifically about Katelynn Davis. She was a young lady of 12 who committed suicide live on the web. The death is no longer readily available to view, but YouTube and other mediums have her posted videos recorded days prior to her death where she is trying to explain her pain and sorrow. Pretty tough to watch.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the OP was a friend or family member asking in a round about way how they can control and remove these videos.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Copyrights and Ownership Regarding Videos by Someone Who Passed

    While the copyrights would transfer to the estate and then to whatever heir the law directs, the real issue is the fact a license is granted to YouTube upon publication of the videos on YouTube. Those licenses are available to read from YouTube. Op needs to research any licenses granted to whatever website (such as YouTube) the videos were published on to see if there are any rights to remove the videos.

    Of course the owner of the rights can always appeal to the licensee in the name of sympathy and decency to have the videos removed if there are no legal rights to demand their removal from the website.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Copyrights and Ownership Regarding Videos by Someone Who Passed

    As the creator of YouTube videos retains the copyright, the license granted to YT is a non-exclusive license to store and display the videos. The creator can take down any video they choose to. They can delete the entire account and all the videos if they choose.

    There are only two videos on YT in the account for Katelynn Davis (ITZ Dolly) but there are hundreds of videos using her streaming blogs. One account is called In Memory of Katelyn Nicole Davis that is 70 of her blog videos. That account was opened Jan 10, 2017 just 10 days after her death. Creators jumped on the opportunity and started using her blogs. Someone deleted all but two videos from her account. Her parents perhaps. Did the parents create the account Memory of Katelyn Nicole Davis ?

    Creating and posting videos on YT is an income generating business. This account Memory of Katelyn Nicole Davis is generating as much as 2K per year and gaining about 400 subscribers per month according to socialblade.com.

    But the fact is that someone had the access to delete those videos and had the right to do so. And unless that person has been granting permission to other creators to use those blogs, they are infringing on the copyrights by posting the entire blogs. There are other accounts that use small excerpts ( assume fair use) in a commentary about her blogs.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is that someone (who has that power and right) is allowing her blogs to stay on YT. Otherwise, a simple DMAC takedown would get them removed by her parents.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Copyrights and Ownership Regarding Videos by Someone Who Passed

    While the rights holder can upload videos, the display of such videos will cease after a “commercially reasonable time” after the rights holder removed the videos from YouTube.
    Notice that the license extends to all YouTube users as well

    so, what is the definition of a “commercially reasonable time” after which the additional licensees would be obligated to remove such videos from YouTube.

    Of course there are myriad other sites where one can upload videos. Each will have its own terms of service.


    1. Content for publication on the Service pursuant to these Terms of Service.
    2. For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your Content. However, by submitting Content to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and YouTube's (and its successors' and affiliates') business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You also hereby grant each user of the Service a non-exclusive license to access your Content through the Service, and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such Content as permitted through the functionality of the Service and under these Terms of Service. The above licenses granted by you in video Content you submit to the Service terminate within a commercially reasonable time after you remove or delete your videos from the Service. You understand and agree, however, that YouTube may retain, but not display, distribute, or perform, server copies of your videos that have been removed or deleted. The above licenses granted by you in user comments you submit are perpetual and irrevocable.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Copyrights and Ownership Regarding Videos by Someone Who Passed

    The parents are not affiliated with nor do they own any of the youtube channels. The streams and everything else was archived by unknown individuals and uploaded to a file host. From there, people downloaded the videos from the file host and uploaded them to youtube. Their intent is keep her from being memory-holed.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Copyrights and Ownership Regarding Videos by Someone Who Passed

    For those that don’t know, memory-holed means the scrubbing and disappearance of painful or embarrassing information of any sort from the net.

    If this is the case, the parents should download everything they can find of their late daughter floating around the net. I guess your question is whether they can legally force services that hold these videos but are not releasing them due to their nature to release them to the parents. The answer should be yes because the parents are the de facto copyright holders, most of what is now on the web was copied without permission from other third parties and the late daughter was never in a legal position to assign her copyright away in the first place.

    Myself, I probably would want it memory holed away.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Copyrights and Ownership Regarding Videos by Someone Who Passed

    It's sad that the law is that way. Neither one of the long-separated parents ever truly showed her any sort of care or concern. She was always secondary (if that). I'll stop here since i'm going off topic.

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