In today’s Pop Culture course, an interesting discussion surrounding appropriated media content was raised. Dr. Strangelove brought up a great point, and it was as simple as this: “corporate sector sees APA as illegitimate, even though under fair use; it is legal.” And just as the sentence spilled from his lips, all of this copyright infringement business began to make sense.
Media giants like Universal and Viacom are picky about YouTube and its content because it’s taking away from their business. It seems so clear now. Amateurs who create mashups, remixes and memes using mainstream mass material do not force advertisements upon their viewers. As viewers of these appropriated videos, we are free to be entertained without being inundated with ads.
Because of recent copyright issues, hundreds of videos are being removed from YouTube daily- usually because they include certain soundtracks, or appropriated materials. According to Strangelove, “more videos in January and February of this year have been removed than last year entirely.” Ok, so- when does the Fair Use Provision come into play?
Detailed at www-sul.stanford.edu is a comprehensive article entitled Copyright Law and Fair Use which explains fair use in its entirety: “Fair use provisions of the copyright law allow for limited copying or distribution of published works without the author’s permission in some cases.”
But what exactly does this include? The article goes on to answer many frequently asked questions concerning the Fair Use Provision, a topic many individuals are not properly educated on. According to the website, the following are situations when fair use comes into play:
· The purpose and nature of the use. If the copy is used for teaching at a non-profit institution, distributed without charge, and made by a teacher or students acting individually, then the copy is more likely to be considered as fair use.
· The nature of the copyrighted work. For example, an article from a newspaper would be considered differently than a workbook made for instruction.
· The nature and substantiality of the material used. In general, when other criteria are met, the copying of extracts that are “not substantial in length” when compared to the whole of which they are part may be considered fair use.
· The effect of use on the potential market for or value of the work. In general, a work that supplants the normal market is considered an infringement, but a work does not have to have an effect on the market to be an infringement.
It seems as YouTube users, we are expected to fully understand what copyright infringement encompasses, and what may be deemed fair use. This is a complex expectation.
According to YouTube.com, “people are watching hundreds of millions of videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily. In fact, every minute, ten hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.” It is unquestionable that YouTube is the leader of online video- and this no doubt scares companies such as Viacom and the like.
The consumers are taking away from the producers. For the first time, the viewers have the power. To quote Steve Collins author of Recovering Fair Use, we are becoming a ‘prosumer’ oriented society which can be defined as: “the conceptual convergence of producer and consumer…at electric speeds the consumer becomes producer as the public becomes participant role player”
I hope my entry has provided some clarity on the messy issue of fair use.