CIS Fair Use Legal Experts Answer Fair Use Questions

On April 21, 2011, YouTube invited the public to ask our CIS Fair Use experts questions regarding fair use.

Anthony Falzone, Executive Director of the Fair Use Project, and Julie Ahrens, Associate Director of the Fair Use Project, answer a selection of questions.

I am at an event, restaurant, or other public place and a band or the radio is playing in the background but I do not intentionally record the band or radio. I am filming something else. The music is out of my control. Is this fair use?

A movie was filmed in my city a few years ago. I want to film some of the filming location to show people where each scene was filmed. I want to place small clips of the movie side-by-side with my video. Is this fair use?

If I keep my video clip under a certain number of seconds am I in the clear?

Does a parody video fall under fair use when the visuals are almost entirely from a non-original source (cartoon, gameplay), but it is completely rewritten and re-voiced in a humorous manner?

If I dub over an episode of a cartoon with my own voices and change the dialogue for parody's sake, am I legally in the clear?

Can one claim fair use preemptively when posting content to avoid takedowns? Also, what non-court options are there for resolving a copyright/fair use dispute?

If I am uploading YouTube videos of captured video and commentary of video games as I play them am I violating copyright?

If I do a parody of a song, can I use the same music, exactly like the original (as long as I or a music composer recreate it from scratch) or does it have to actually sound a bit different (like Conan's version of "It's Friday" did)?

If I'm doing a news program where I report on a story am I allowed to use video footage or photos pertaining to that story?

Can you make money off a movie you produced that was inspired by another book or film as long as the story is unique? Like a fan film that exists in the same universe but with original characters and storyline? Is this fair use?

Can I perform a copyrighted song in a YouTube video? Can I teach how to play it? Can I show guitar tablature or music notation?

What kind of categories fall under fair use (review, education)? What if the clip you're using doesn't fit into one of them, can it still be fair use?

If I want to make software video tutorials and I record my screen with software being shown throughout the video, does that qualify as fair use?

If I use 2-3 seconds of a video for a mashup but give credit to that video owner, is it fair use?

Can I review a movie based on one element in that movie, and include clips from that movie in my review without violating copyright? Keep in mind, I am essentially promoting that movie and I am not making any money from the review.

Are there any cases in which posting the uncut entirety of another's content could be considered fair use? For instance, if commentary is located in the description or annotation fields, and not on the video itself?

Is there a way to give credit to the original owners of the content in a mash up, similar to how you make a Works Cited page for an academic paper?

Can a person use actual clips from a movie, i.e. Star Wars, if he green screens himself into them to change them for comedic purposes under YouTube's understanding of Fair Use?

I've heard and seen content owners complaining about content that they don't own. Is there a way to take legal action or at least right those wrongs?


Add new comment

Once you hit Save, your comment will be held for moderation before being published. You will not see a confirmation message once you hit the Save button but please be assured your comment has been submitted and we will review it.
Enter the characters shown in the image.