Videos Demonstrate The Complexities Of Fair Use

from the human-judgment-required dept

On Thursday, Mike noted EFF's Fair Use Principles for User Generated Video Content. I wanted to highlight the "test suite" of fair-use videos they released in concert with those principles. It's a a gallery of videos that EFF thinks constitute fair use of copyrighted works. It includes a number of golden oldies that made the rounds in recent years, including "Ten Things I Hate About Commandments", a video featuring that ridiculous Nixon Peabody song, and a video about fair use constructed by splicing together short Disney Cartoon clips. It's worth noting that the law is far from settled in this area, so it's far from certain that the courts would find all of these videos to be fair use under copyright law. But in a sense, that's the point: deciding what constitutes fair use requires the exercise of human judgment. The four factors determining fair use include subjective factors like "the effect of the use upon the potential market" and "the purpose and character of the use" that simply can't be determined by an automated algorithm.

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Comments on “Videos Demonstrate The Complexities Of Fair Use”

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8 Comments
GeneralEmergency (profile) says:

Which is why..

…Copyright terms need to be rolled back to the original limits.

Shorter Copyright terms = More Public Domain
Shorter Copyright terms = Less Litigation
Shorter Copyright terms = More creativity, not less.

Also… can any one here (especially you “copyright cartel” lurkers) explain to me EXACTLY why the intellectual property monopoly of Copyright is intrinsically more deserving of protection terms that are LONGER than the intellectual property monopoly granted by Patent?

Seriously, take all the space you need to formulate your best arguments.

weebit says:

You are not going to get rid of the copyright issue of fair use because you can’t appease everyone. My rule of thumb is I try to use no more than a 60 second piece on videos, or on the music files, if the file is huge then a minute and a half. I have seen fair use of some videos pulled with way less than this. Case in point the bouncing/dancing baby at youtube. This was a 29 second clip.

Brad Eleven (profile) says:

@GeneralEmergency

“…can any one here (especially you “copyright cartel” lurkers) explain to me EXACTLY why the intellectual property monopoly of Copyright is intrinsically more deserving of protection terms that are LONGER than the intellectual property monopoly granted by Patent?”

Corporations employ armies of lawyers, whose interests are served by inventing activities for which they can justify their salaries and/or retainers. Copyright defense is one of the simplest examples of these activities.

I understand that your question comes from a position of social responsibility. You seem to be missing the role of corporate interests in this area, which is that of the antagonist. Corporations are chiefly (and legally) responsible first to their shareholders and/or owners. Any pretense of social responsibility by a corporation is nothing more than a marketing gesture in support of its primary responsibility.

The tendency is away from public ownership. If you want to see creativity at its most effective, observe how ABC/Disney extends their copyrights past the century mark in a few more years.

The ultimate expression of corporate copyright will be law which prevents anyone from saying anything about a corporation. This will be preceded by law preventing anyone using a corporation’s name without its express consent, which will be preceded by law preventing anyone from saying certain things about a corporation, etc.

The high irony lies in the origin of corporations being considered as persons: This move was made by British courts in order to allow for the collection of debts from corporations.

I’m not saying that corporations are evil–what they are is too powerful.

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