Remix Culture: (They say) Fair Use is Your Friend

The great folks at American University have a great video about “fair use” and remix.

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6 Responses to Remix Culture: (They say) Fair Use is Your Friend

  1. Matt J. says:

    I suppose it is only inevitable that a document about fair use in the digital media age should itself be a video mashup;)

    But like many mashups, it has too many disjointed ideas mashed together, ideas that cry out for an explicit connection that is never made.

    So, for example, afte rmentioning “code of best practices”, it shows many images that I suppose are meant to be examples that follow these best practices, but that they do is not explicitly stated, nor is it ever stated how these are examples of the best practices.

    In fine I cannot therefore agree that this video is ‘great’.

  2. It is indeed ironic that Google is the sponsor of this video. You would think that as a sponsor of this video, Google would recognize the vital importance that Fair Use and the remix culture plays on the internet. Yet, the company makes the practice unnecessarily difficult to implement. Look at article 5.B of YouTube’s TOS.

    “You may access User Submissions for your information and personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the YouTube Website. You shall not copy or download any User Submission unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the YouTube Website for that User Submission.”

    In other words—you are breaking the Terms of Service and could get your account suspended merely for downloading someone else’s video for the purpose of making Fair Use of it. Downloading other people’s videos is a necessary first step for creating mashups, criticism, and conversation. Fortunately, this clause is widely ignored and many conversations take place through video callout and response. Here is a mirrored copy of my one of my favorites by dprjones:

    Unfortunately, YouTube suspended dprjones’s account because of this video. Nobody knows why his account was suspended, but dprjones used his alternate account to provide evidence that this was indeed the video that got him suspended.

    dprjones is a VERY highly respected YouTuber. He is a British lawyer who has made fair use of other’s videos in order to expose outright fraud and intellectual chicanery. His suspension brought a ton of outrage by the YouTube community. (Do a YouTube video search on the terms “dprjones suspended” and you will get 7 pages of results). YouTube responded by restoring his account in two days.

    Unfortunately, had he not been so popular—had he not had the backing of such a large community, it is doubtful his channel would have been restored.

    There are two reasons why I am telling this story:

    1) YouTube needs a formal and transparent procedure for people to appeal their suspension when their accounts have been wrongfully terminated (and his is certainly not the only wrongfully terminated account.)

    2) Google/YouTube should respect the importance of Fair Use and remix by not making those who obtain the raw ingredients necessary for a remix into TOS violators. Article 5.B of YouTube’s TOS MUST DIE!

  3. NeonLightning says:

    I would still have to call it great because Fair Use is not an explicit thing really. even the different possible usages are all implied rather then explicit. but i personally really thought this video was informative and entertaining actually.

  4. robertfalco says:

    yes i totally agree with NeonLightning.. this video was informative and entertaining actually

  5. I think the key word when using copyrighted material for your own creative purposes is, “transformative.” If you’re not creating something new, then you’re likely to be slapped with a lawsuit, or at least a demand for compensation by the copyright holder. My ex-brother-in-law is a record producer, and he’s constantly using bits of copyrighted sound from other artists. He says that in the industry, there’s a rule of thumb that you can’t sample more than about seven seconds worth of sound without having to pay a royalty.

  6. librarian on the loose says:

    The creators of this video do nothing to communicate the complexity of Fair Use. There have been whole international conferences (CONFU) just on Fair Use to work toward defining Fair US, setting standards, and establishing best practices. And many people who deal with copyright issues on a daily basis would say CONFU failed in helping to resolve these issues. There are volumes and volumes written on Fair Use. There are an endless number of articles (peer-reviewed and popular) that exist – and many would argue there is still no definitive definition of Fair Use. Even if your use of a work does fall under fair use (or you believe it does), there is nothing stopping the copyright holder from going after you anyway!

    While this video is informative and does a good job of opening up some of the issues to users, it falls short in describing many of the issues related to Fair Use.

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