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    Daniel Mitchell
    • Total posts: 56

    Hi everyone

    I’ve done some research online but can’t get a clear answer that is relevant to Australia. Assume I have a software program I have purchased and decide to do a training video on how to use said software – is there any potential copyright infringement? Then say I decide to sell this video – does the copyright infringement change? What about offering training courses (in person) on how to use this software? Or training manuals that include screenshots? And then this software has a trademark over its name – can I refer to this program legally?

    The information I have found seems to imply that all of this is a breach of copyright (or trademark when using the name), but then why is there an entire industry built around training for another company’s software? I imagine that the answer is because it is in the copyright holders interest for people to know how to use the programs so they choose to either specifically allow it, or not care to pursue any infringements. But what about if the copyright holder does care?

    A few years ago SAP decided to legally threaten training providers to prevent this exact issue. The (non-legal nor official) sites online though suggest that SAP have no case and won’t win http://goo.gl/eUcAML. I can’t find why exactly they suggest this, but I am thinking it may fall under fair-use exceptions which doesn’t apply (except to limited situations) in Australia, nor would anybody want to pit their legal budget against SAP.

    Interested to know what the actual answer to all of this is.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

    • Total posts: 11

    Hi Daniel,

    Firstly, I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t quote you the exact paragraph and section number but I’ll do my best :D

    When you purchase software you are buying it for individual, private use or for business use (which means you can use the software to assist in running your business, but not to use the software as your companies product). If you go back and look at the terms and conditions it will say you are not allowed to use the software for any other purpose without express permission by the creating company.

    What you would be doing is using another companies product and brand, this constitutes copyright infringement. Regardless of whether you are making money or not.

    What you would need to do is approach the company whose software you want to teach about and ask for permission to use their product and brand name, only then are you able, legally, to create and sell training videos, workshops etc

    As you point out, it is in the company’s best interest to have people learning about their software but they will want a cut for granting you the licence to profit from their business. Or they may have exclusivity agreements with existing trainers and you would not be granted usage as you are in an already allocated area. It depends on the company, the best thing to do is ask!

    Hope that helps,


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