"But CrossFit could face an uphill battle proving that the videos violate their copyright, said Julie Ahrens, director of Copyright and Fair Use at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. Commentary and criticism enjoys legal protection as free speech—known as “fair use”—even if that might mean using a copy of someone else’s video. It depends partly on whether someone is adding to the video to give it a different meaning, or if, for example, they were just copying it to sell their own workout video. “If you’re making fun of the video … in concept that’s a pretty solid fair use concept,” she said."
The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.