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Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:59 am
by tumbl3r
Several of the YouTube greats from years past have taken down all their videos and it got me wondering... Is there any known case of a lock manufacture filing a lawsuit against a person who picks a lock on camera? Software companies make you sign an End User License Agreement (EULA) and are able to hold you liable if you violate it, but I've never heard of such an agreement being applied to locks. Of the few new locks I have purchased, certainly no EULA has ever been involved in the transaction.

As I understand it, once I have purchased a lock, it is my property and picking it is legally nothing more than me tinkering around with my own property. It's clear that many of the manufacturers don't particularly care for us picking their locks, but with no EULA, I can't imagine anything they could do to stop it unless we were using a tool that they had patented. Of course, I don't want any problems, so I thought I'd ask the question here just to see if anyone has ever heard of a picker being sued by a lock manufacturer?

Thanks all, and happy Saturday :)

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:03 am
by Riyame
Most of the time people get sick of people commenting that they are faking it, the lock is rigged etc so they just take down their videos. I know one person that was working with Medeco and they requested he take down his Medeco videos.

I do not believe there would be any legal ground for a lock manufacturer to sue over picking locks, but they might be able to go with slander or defamation depending on what you say in your videos etc. This is the same thing as with Master lock trying to force Bosnian Bill to remove his videos on Master locks and he told them to go fly a kite.

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:41 am
by tumbl3r
Thanks for your thoughts. I can see how annoying it would be to have someone try to claim that all your hard work was faked. Mostly I have been making videos as a way to entertain myself and give me a reason to learn something new like video editing. I'm very careful not to bash or otherwise badmouth lock manufacturers. Not so much because I'm worried about the ramifications, but because I just don't get the point of it. I chose to only work on locks that interest me and those tend to be very good, and deserving of praise rather than scorn.

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:16 pm
by huxleypig
I know someone who as had to post stuff to Youtube anonymously in case of legal repercussions. Some lock makers are real litigious and you'll know when you hit upon one. They'd rather shut you up over fixing anything.

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:28 pm
by GWiens2001
A member here was threatened with legal action from MMF over a video he put up picking their lock, but he told them to take a hike. They had no grounds for legal action, but many people will back down from fear.

Gordon

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:04 pm
by Jaakko Fagerlund
If someone would threaten me with legal action for picking a lock on a video, my standard reply is go fly a kite. Really, there is no single law being broken, no slander and no nothing, so there is absolutely nothing they could do. Sure they can file a civil dispute in court, but they would have to have a really stupid law office to do that as they know it will not stand.

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:36 pm
by huxleypig
Well we know for a fact that the bottom-feeding lawyers trawl this site (among others), looking for potential violations. And I don't know about you but I am not in the mood for a potentially bankrupting court battle, no matter what the legality. Some companies are known for it and I would name and shame but I do not want to damage the site.

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:06 am
by Pick-Fu
hmmm, I think I need to start a youtube channel where I pick locks on camera.... Im so broke I can pay attention, what can they take from me? I have nothing left from when I became disabled.

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:46 am
by Jaakko Fagerlund
huxleypig wrote:Well we know for a fact that the bottom-feeding lawyers trawl this site (among others), looking for potential violations. And I don't know about you but I am not in the mood for a potentially bankrupting court battle, no matter what the legality. Some companies are known for it and I would name and shame but I do not want to damage the site.

In here that court battle wouldn't even start or would stop to the first hearing as there is nothing illegal happening. Loser pays and money doesn't buy you more time in a court :)

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:03 am
by Alaphablue
They can only threaten you just have a lawyer send them a f*** off letter.

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:31 pm
by Patrick Star
Not an expert on US law, but some states have anti-SLAPP laws specifically to prevent this. It basically provides an easy way out for unfounded lawsuits. Might be worth looking into.
By the way, Mark Weber Tobias (everyone's favorite, right :)) has a short segment in LSS about the legal status of unauthorized reverse engineering of locks, citing a case that clearly allows it.

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:50 pm
by tumbl3r
Thanks so much for all your info and thoughts guys! Sounds like my understanding was pretty much correct that there is basically no grounds for a lawsuit unless you are badmouthing the company. Even then, I think the grounds would be very limited. Is there a link to the MWT article in LSS? Some quick googling turned up nothing. He is a lawyer, and it would actually be good to read what he had to say about it.

Thanks again everyone!

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:38 am
by Oldfast
GWiens2001 wrote:A member here was threatened with legal action from MMF over a video he put up picking their lock, but he told them to take a hike. They had no grounds for legal action, but many people will back down from fear.

Gordon

Ah yes, lol. I was fairly new to youtube, and to picking locks - so it had me a bit concerned.
You'll find THIS thread riddled with lots of different opinions & advice from other members.

By page 3, I made the decision to take the video down.....
and replace it with one the company would like far less :D

By page 4, we made it into the "Money Bag Pass Along" lol.
Which reminds me, I've got to track that damn thing down.

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:09 am
by tumbl3r
Oh man, they messed with you, Oldfast!?!?! Not cool at all :(

Still, reading through that thread it seems as if this great community took that lemon and made years worth of lemonade out of it, LOL. :)

Re: Legal liability from picking locks on camera?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:47 pm
by huxleypig
Jaakko Fagerlund wrote:
huxleypig wrote:Well we know for a fact that the bottom-feeding lawyers trawl this site (among others), looking for potential violations. And I don't know about you but I am not in the mood for a potentially bankrupting court battle, no matter what the legality. Some companies are known for it and I would name and shame but I do not want to damage the site.

In here that court battle wouldn't even start or would stop to the first hearing as there is nothing illegal happening. Loser pays and money doesn't buy you more time in a court :)


Mods, can I have the green light to name and shame? The company certainly deserve it.

If the company in question would have had their way, this would not have been a criminal thing, it would have been a civil lawsuit. If it were criminal then it would be even worse because in the UK now you can't claim legal expenses back as a defendant, even if you win. The prosecution can do so, if they win though. It's bullshit.