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Author Topic: OJ Simpson Phone Call  (Read 1257 times)

Dash23

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OJ Simpson Phone Call
« on: 04-02-16 at 11:13 am »

Hello,

I am working on a short film about the OJ Simpson chase. During the pursuit, OJ called the police, and engaged in a long phone call with LAPD homicide detective Tom Lange. The infamous police chase and phone call were broadcast live on many networks, and on many other news stations. As I'm sure you know, the broadcast has been used everywhere, from shows, to documentaries, etc. etc. However, before I use the audio of the call, I need to know who owns it, or if it is in the public domain, etc.

Any advice?

Thanks.
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JSonnabend

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Re: OJ Simpson Phone Call
« Reply #1 on: 04-04-16 at 08:44 am »

Assuming the conversation between OJ and Lange was not scripted, then it would be classified as "extemporaneous" and therefore not subject to copyright.
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SonnabendLaw
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Robert K S

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Re: OJ Simpson Phone Call
« Reply #2 on: 04-04-16 at 09:28 am »

Although I should think that a call to a public officer would be in the public domain as a public record (depending on state laws), I'm not sure I understand JSonnabend's analysis.  Does that mean that if a comedy club hires me to videorecord their improv sketch comedy, my recordings are not subject to copyright as "extemporaneous" since the performances are unscripted?  Copyright law isn't my focus, but that doesn't make sense to me.
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This post is made in the context of professional discussion of general patent law issues and nothing contained herein may be construed as legal advice.

JSonnabend

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Re: OJ Simpson Phone Call
« Reply #3 on: 04-04-16 at 10:11 am »

If your recordings have a "modicum of creativity", then yes, they would be protected by copyright.  The recording of a phone call, I think it is safe to say, does not.
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SonnabendLaw
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