Seeking fame off the back of other people’s content is a risky business. If the content belongs to others you may need a licence, permission or consent, preferably in writing.

The Rin on the Rox story this week illustrates the risks. They are an LA amateur vocal duo. They recorded   karaoke-style music videos in their bathroom and uploaded them to YouTube. They attracted millions of viewers singing their Beyonce-style stuff. It landed them a gig on The Ellen Degeneres Show.

They then hit a road block. YouTube suspended their account and took the videos offline, presumably because they had no copyright licence, permission or consent to any music or lyrics.

The Rin on the Rox story is detailed by Justweb, a client of our firm and a Sydney specialist web development and search engine optimisation company. In the Justweb article you’ll also find our quoted pointers for the almost famous who want to do the right thing.

The legal lesson is simple. Seek legal advice before you start to build an online presence, let alone a business, incorporating other people’s music, lyrics, graphics or other content.

PS – Happily for Rin on the Rox fans, they’re back on YouTube thanks to fans constantly re-uploading old Rin on the Rox videos. Again illustrating the power of users against copyright owners today…

Noric Dilanchian