Notices at Intel press event seem to say attending photographers must assign copyright to all pictures and videos to the company?

Copyright transfers in the US specifically have to be written. I’m not sure if just posting a sign counts.


What if you modify the document before going in and say by allowing me to enter into this room you’ve agreed to this contract.

anyway it starts off clearly dealing with photographs or other media representations that Intel can take in the room. That it seems to veer off from there is I think a mistake based on how difficult it is to control English grammatical construction of such complexity. So I suppose a court would say no they don’t have the right to all of the pictures you took, but rather only to the pictures that they took and you gave them the right to do anything with the pictures they took by entering the room.

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Am a lawyer, you are correct. But like 75% of CD’s posts involve misinterpretation of the law…


I recall Cory sagely noting at one point that the answer to virtually all headline questions is “no.” That seems to hold here too. So I guess he gets points for holding true to that maxim?

Regardless, the notice is a whole bucket of annoying. I sincerely hope that this ironically turned some folks away.

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Okay, so clearly this ISN’T saying “all who enter this volume of space hereby assign us the copyright to any pictures they take therein.”

BUT–what if it did? Because somewhere someone is reading this and kicking themselves for not thinking of it sooner.

Would that, could that ever be enforceable? Assuming it was private property under the control of the would-be rights-yankers, and the signs were visible, etc. etc.

No. (Or, at least, not anywhere U.S. law is in force.)

17 U.S.C. 204(a) A transfer of copyright ownership, other than by operation of law, is not valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum of the transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed or such owner’s duly authorized agent.


I’m not sure CD claimed to have made the observation RE headliens, but it’s not his: Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

There is no Intel. Only Zuul.


That was my interpretation as well. It’s like the photo release students and parents sign at the start of the year allowing the school to take pictures of kids and put them on the school website.

I put up a notice in my neighborhood that any cars parked here attempting to violate the privacy of those residents of the neighborhood are likely to get vandalized or otherwise fucked with. Hey comcast you don’t like it, don’t enter the neighborhood. There’s also an opt-out-of-being-fucked-with clause, you have to cut off and mail your big toe with an image of your license plate to a PO box in australia. image


I’m by no means a copyright lawyer, but the wording of this sounds to me like they’re claiming copyright over pictures taken by them but that contain your face/likeness. Not quite the same as claiming ownership of pictures taken by attendees.

To simplify the wording (no changes or omissions other than the rambling lists of “stuff that means roughly but not quite the same” - I stripped out the "(…)"s as there were too many for legibility):

“Intel corporation will be photographing in this area. By entering this area, you irrecovably authorise Intel and its employees to take, use and publish any photograph of you, and to record your voice, and to use any photograph or recording [no specification of who is the originator of these photos, as such it must be assumed that they are the photos previously mentioned, taken by Intel employees] in which [your likeness] may be included in whole or in part, throughout the world.”

Nothing in any of this speaks to any photography or recording done by others than Intel and its representatives.

Is there any legitimate way Cory couldn’t know this after his years in the field? IP law is kind of a large area of his advocacy, and the specific written copyright transfer requirement is one of the quirks of US copyright law that stands out from regular contract law which can generally also include implied or oral contracts.


Well, you’d think not, but who knows. Overall, I think that he (with quite a bit of justification) is cynical about the tricks companies will try to pull, and that his cynicism, combined with what I assume is a pretty busy schedule, may cause him to read or write a bit less carefully than he probably should when something triggers his copyright-o-meter. I’ve certainly gotten frustrated with his mischaracterizations and called him out on it in the past. But in general I think it’s valuable to have somebody staking out his end of the IP maximalist-minimalist spectrum, even if he sometimes overreaches, because there are damn well a lot of overreaches at the other end.


Not trying to speak for Cory here, but he is right, that this particular notice is messed up. While it is similar to other notices/releases that are frequently used, that 2nd-to-last assertion, regardless of its intent, implied or otherwise, shall be construed by everyone, everywhere, at all times, to mean that Intel claims all rights and antecedent properties, of everyone who enters, has entered, or will enter that room, including, but not limited to, their phone, camera, camera-phone, phone-camera, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), Public Displays of Affection (PDA), first-born child (and/or subsequent offspring) and immortal soul. Amen.

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It also wouldn’t hold up in Canada:

Copyright Act, section 13(4) The owner of the copyright in any work may assign the right, either wholly or partially, and either generally or subject to limitations relating to territory, medium or sector of the market or other limitations relating to the scope of the assignment, and either for the whole term of the copyright or for any other part thereof, and may grant any interest in the right by licence, but no assignment or grant is valid unless it is in writing signed by the owner of the right in respect of which the assignment or grant is made, or by the owner’s duly authorized agent.

Of course, there’s a difference between assigning the copyright (“I transfer the copyright in this photograph to Intel”) and granting a license to use a copyrighted work (“I continue to own the copyright in this photograph but I’m granting Intel permission to use the photograph”). So this wouldn’t work to assign the copyright to Intel, but could this kind of approach work to grant Intel a license to use the photograph? Probably, if it was done right. Just don’t hire whoever vomited up this particular sign to do it for you.


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