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Fair use laws when using commercial video?

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stan welksFair use laws when using commercial video?
by on Apr 18, 2013 at 7:39:21 pm

Can someone please provide some clarity regarding Fair Use laws with regard to ripping short clips from DVDs to be used in documentaries, movie reviews on blogs, etc.

1. Is there a length that you should not go beyond?
2. Is there ever a time that you need to get permission to use a clip from a movie?

Thanks.



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Walter SoykaRe: Fair use laws when using commercial video?
by on Apr 18, 2013 at 7:50:34 pm

[stan welks] "Can someone please provide some clarity regarding Fair Use laws with regard to ripping short clips from DVDs to be used in documentaries, movie reviews on blogs, etc."

Fair use is a defense, it's not a right.

That means you might win your lawsuit, but it doesn't mean you won't get sued.

Of course, I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice...

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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stan welksRe: Fair use laws when using commercial video?
by on Apr 18, 2013 at 8:15:31 pm

It seems that there is some understanding regarding how much of a commercially available video can be used without much risk of being sued. Before the advent of the internet, Siskel & Ebert (amongst many other shows) use to show clips from movies on their TV show and often times did not have favorable things to say about the movies. Did they need to get permission for each of those clips? I'm just trying to figure out if there are some guidelines that if you stay within should keep you safe?

Thanks.



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Walter SoykaRe: Fair use laws when using commercial video?
by on Apr 18, 2013 at 8:25:41 pm

Wikipedia's article on fair use is very good -- have you seen it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Todd TerryRe: Fair use laws when using commercial video?
by on Apr 18, 2013 at 10:17:25 pm

[stan welks] "Siskel & Ebert (amongst many other shows) use to show clips from movies on their TV show and often times did not have favorable things to say about the movies. "

True... but those clips were always provided by the studios, in hopes of getting a favorable review. They were not out grabbing clips that weren't already being made available to them. In fact I can recall a couple of times them mentioning some obscure film and saying "... unfortunately we don't have any clips of it to show you, but..."

It would behoove one to be very careful when doing this... and frankly, I'd consult a media attorney (not your usual lawyer, but specifically a media lawyer).

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Tim WilsonRe: Fair use laws when using commercial video?
by on Apr 18, 2013 at 11:44:43 pm

[Todd Terry] " In fact I can recall a couple of times them mentioning some obscure film and saying "... unfortunately we don't have any clips of it to show you, but..."
"


A humongous and critical point. If they didn't have actual written, contractual permission, there was no way they'd touch it. This was ESPECIALLY the case when the studio didn't provide clips in advance. It told them that the studio was explicitly NOT granting permission. Why would they go there?

And this was when they were owned by Disney. They had the world's toughest legal muscle at their disposal, but were still very careful. They had a full-time staffer doing nothing but music clearances for music WITHIN movie clips, and subcontracted an entire company (April Productions) to do clip clearance.

This is a big deal because the music in a clip is often held differently than the visuals -- and the movies themselves had to get clearances from the music holders to use it in the movies. See all those credits at the end of a movie with all that copyright info? Every movie and TV show you've seen anytime recently has at least one person, typically several, doing nothing but rights.

Great example: MGM holds all Elvis movie footage, but Sony holds all music rights...and depending on the use, Elvis Presley Enterprises owns rights to the likeliness of Elvis. We did a great article with Bevin Baddorf, whose EPE office for video archiving is actually IN Graceland -- how badass is that, btw -- and even within the 4 walls of Graceland, they have to get clearance from AT LEAST Sony and MGM for EVERY CLIP. Sometimes more rights holders than that.

This isn't like trying to Fair Use your way into a music clip. This is exponentially bigger.

This is a whole 'nother conversation, but for practical purposes, Fair Use no longer exists for normal people. There are whole books on the collapse of Fair Use. Here are some great examples:

Public Domain: Enclosing The Commons of the Mind. Public domain isn't exactly fair use. It's much broader and THAT's closing up.

Reclaiming Fair Use. Plenty of best practices...but also reminders that you don't have to be right. You have to more money than the people coming after you...and you don't. The book hopes to help rebalance things in favor of users, rather than creators, as the law intended, but pie, meet sky.

Moral Panics and the Copyright Laws. An even better explanation of how we let the Jack Valentis of the world bully the courts into reversing 200 years of copyright law with the straw man of piracy, which doesn't actually exist in the way that the MPAA and RIAA claim...but you know what? Tough. Because right now, the courts ARE on the side of these guys, even if the law isn't.

Freedom of Expression: Resistance and Repression In the Age of Intellectual.... Did you know that Donald Trump's "you're fired" gesture is trademarked? As is "thumbs up" in a review. The estates of Gene and Roger are probably pretty mild about this. Disney less so. How gentle do you think Trump is?

The Story Of The Letter U and the Numeral 2. Cast your mind back to U2's Achtung Baby tour, when they appropriated whatever signals they could pull down from whatever satellites they could reach. A performance art troupe tried to do the same to U2, and got sued into oblivion. Then they tried to write a book about the story, and the BOOK got sued into oblivion because U2 claimed that THAT was a misappropriation too. So a story about the story was deemed an infringement!!!! And that was held up by the courts! You have nobody in your corner on this.

Sorry for the rant. This is all new news. These books (except for the last one I mentioned) have all been written in the past 2 years to reflect how quickly this is changing, and NOT IN YOUR FAVOR.

As a result, nearly all of the information in the 12 years that people have gotten in this forum is simply wrong. It's out of date and it's dangerous.

Do some research and you'll see for yourself. Not to say that rights holders aren't granting access. They are. In many cases they'll fall over themselves to help people who ASK. But NOT people who try to hide behind Fair Use. Those days are long gone.

Anybody trying to get by with Fair Use alone has already stabbed themselves in the weenie. The question is, are you going to take the knife out of your weenie and put it back in the drawer, or take it out of your weenie and stick it in your heart? In your business's heart? In the heart of your family's future? How wide a swath of destruction do you want to want to cut through the lives of the people you love?

Hey, and have a nice day! LOL

No kidding man. This was one thing back in the day. Today, this is playing with the fire that is burning around a nuke.


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Tim WilsonRe: Fair use laws when using commercial video?
by on Apr 19, 2013 at 5:13:26 am

[Tim Wilson] "As a result, nearly all of the information in the 12 years that people have gotten in this forum is simply wrong. It's out of date and it's dangerous."

I should mention that I'm at the top of that list. I've made dozens of posts here over the years, full of Fair Use resources, encouraging people to go for it, providing whatever tools I could to help make it happen.

The world has changed. So when you're looking for advice from older posts to avoid, start with all of mine. LOL


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Steve MartinRe: Fair use laws when using commercial video?
by on Apr 19, 2013 at 4:26:48 pm

Thanks for a detailed outline Tim. This is one of those threads that I'll bookmark for future reference! But the line about stabbing yourself in the weenie? Dude, I cringed just reading that... just wrong... soooo wrong!

Production is fun - but lets not forget: Nobody ever died on the video table!


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Shane RossRe: Fair use laws when using commercial video?
by on Apr 19, 2013 at 9:31:35 am

[stan welks] " Siskel & Ebert (amongst many other shows) use to show clips from movies on their TV show and often times did not have favorable things to say about the movies. Did they need to get permission for each of those clips?"

Yes they did. They were provided those clips. Because they were scenes from movies that were playing in theaters, not trailer clips. The only way to get them was to be sent them. They had permission.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Ben AvechucoRe: Fair use laws when using commercial video?
by on Apr 19, 2013 at 8:28:09 am

Don't believe the myths about being able to use up to 8 or up to 30 seconds of a clip or music without permission.

Here is my favorite description of copyright and fair use.
This might be a good starting point.









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Emre TufekciogluRe: Fair use laws when using commercial video?
by on Apr 22, 2013 at 9:22:05 am

I think this was posted here a few years back, it should answer all your questions:

http://web.law.duke.edu/cspd/comics/pdf/cspdcomichigh.pdf



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