9 Fair Use Ways To Reuse Online Video

Jan 3rd, 2008 | By | Category: Citizen Media, Internet TV, Podcasting Law

There’s been a lot of controversy in the last year over the use and reuse of coyrighted content in videos published at sites like YouTube. A new study on copyright and creativity from the Center and American University‚Äôs Washington College of Law may help clear things up.

The study (pdf), Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video, shows that many uses of copyrighted material in today’s online videos are eligible for fair use consideration.

Nine Types Of Fair Us In Online Videos:

  • satire
  • parody
  • negative or critical commentary
  • positive commentary
  • discussion-triggers
  • illustration
  • diaries
  • archiving and
  • pastiche or collage (remixes and mashups)

Fair Use And Internet Video

Fair use is the part of copyright law that lets you, in some situations, to quote copyrighted material without asking permission or paying the owners. According to court precedents, fair use should be “transformative” Рadding value to the original work and using it for a purpose different from the original.

Here’s an example:

When makers mash up several works — say, The Ten Commandments , Ben-Hur and 10 Things I Hate about You to make Ten Things I Hate about Commandments (above) — they aren’t necessarily stealing. They are quoting in order to make a new commentary on popular culture, and creating a new piece of popular culture.

This type of fair use mashup and others is threatened by industry practices that are being introduced to control piracy. While content creators have a legitimate right to protect themselves from getting ripped off, that shouldn’t be at the expense of fair use.

Here are examples of each of the 9 fair use ways to reuse online video:

Satire and Parody

Negative or Critical Commentary

Positive Commentary

Quoting in Order to Start a Discussion

Illustration or Example

Incidental Use

Personal Reportage/Diaries

Archiving of Vulnerable or Revealing Materials

Pastiche or Collage

The study authors recommend the development of a committee of scholars, film makers and lawyers to develop best-practices principles for fair use in online video.

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