ReelSEO's Grant Crowell interviews Internet video and social networking expert and e-media personality, Daisy Whitney, on her upcoming eBook,Keeping Your Content (and yourself) Out of Court –A guide to understanding the Fair Use doctrine in the digital media age. Daisy's eBook digs into the what could be the most important legal issue to most businesses getting involved with online video marketing – "Fair Use.”
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So what exactly is "fair use?”
"Fair Use" is a legal defense that allows for limited use of copyrighted material without permission from rights holders. the”Fair Use Doctrine" is actually part of United States copyright law,as codified in the Copyright Act of 1976, Section 107. It states as follows:
"The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.”
"Fair use cuts both ways. It can be used as either a sword or a shield," Daisy says in her eBook. "Acontent maker wanting to use someone else's work will use the fair use defense. Acontentcreatorwhose work is being used, perhaps in an infringing fashion, would claim a fair use violation.”
A good in-depth video discussion on Fair Use was recorded at the MIT Communications Forum:
And for those who want their education on fair use in a more "entertaining" format. (I recommend scrolling 2 minutes into the video)…
Why should online video marketers understand "fair use?”
Fair use is an extremely important issue in online video marketing. Its not just something that affects big media companies, like Google and Viacom. "Fair use affects individuals and independent producers, too," says Daisy. The most important factor determining fair use, and certainly the most relevant to online marketers – or anyone with intentions of commercial use and profit for that matter – is "marketplace impact," or "marketplace harm.”
"To figure out if your work will impact the market for the original work, you need to ask yourself:Will the market for the original work be diminished by the new work? And, are you trying to make money on your work by using someone else's work?" says Daisy.
So if you're an online video marketers, and are putting out video for commercial purposes without understanding the guideline for fair use – ignorance is no defense. You can wind up getting sued and have your business, ruined from the financial damages.
eBook on Fair Use
Daisy's new eBook,Keeping Your Content (and yourself) Out of Court –A guide to understanding the Fair Use doctrine in the digital media age,provides the latest in-depth coverage on the Fair Use doctrine, including its legal rulings and pending cases. To paraphrase Daisy's own promotional copy, It's written in aneasy-to-understand style about what the copyright doctrine of fair use means to new media producers creating online video programming – be it for their own web sites, video sharing sites, podcasts, blogs and Web shows. In this eBook, media professionals can gain a legal understanding on what types of clips, music and b-roll you can and can't use in your work, how to determine if your projects will fall within the fair use safe harbor, and how to stay out of legal trouble.
The intro to the report reads, which should be "fair use" to quote verbatim here…
"This report is based on extensive research on the history of fair use, seminal fair use court cases, reports from leading law schools and copyright advocates, and interviews with more than 12 copyright experts and intellectual property attorneys – including some currently involved in what will likely be watershed fair use cases. The interviews were structured with an eye towards both understanding the big picture aspects of fair use and also how fair use applies to the new generation of content creators producing for multimedia platforms. This report also includes historical context and common-sense summaries of key fair uses cases from the last 25 years. These cases are important for new media producers to understand so they can determine how their works might or might not fit within the type of rulings that have been made to date and what fair use means for them.”
So in short, as Daisy says, "if you don't want to get sued, read this book before you pick up your camera!”
Interview on Fair use in online video marketing
In our pre-eBook interview with Daisy, which you get to hear in the podcast show, Daisy shares her answers on these pressing questions for online video marketers and fair use:
- Why is there so much confusion in the marketplace for what constitutes "fair use" for online video?
- What's fair use for online video marketers, and what isn't?
- What are some of the most common assumptions marketers have about fair use?
- Why small-and-medium size businesses are more apt to be committing fair use violations with online video, and how it can be avoided.
- When its best to use caution with others' copyrighted work.
- What are some court cases and rulings on fair use that online video marketers should take special heed of.
Recommended Links on Fair Use in Online Video
- Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in Online Video (with a link to download the full PDF Report) – American University Center for Social Media
- What fair use? Three strikes and you're out… of YouTube – ARS Technica
- Fair Use Principles of User Generated Video Content – Electronic Frontier Foundation