Answered By: James Burke
Last Updated: Oct 21, 2022     Views: 1

Hi Ace, 

As you may know, copyright questions are often a matter of judgement but there are some guidelines to determine if your usage would fall under a "fair use" exemption from restrictions on material owned by a copyright holder.  This is a page from the library website that provides some guidance on determining if your use falls under fair use.

Here are a few things to consider:

Is your piece going to be created and presented as part of a class?  Educational use of copyrighted material points towards protection under fair use.  If your art is created for a class but is going to be publicly displayed, the education use allowance would not apply as strongly.  

If you are doing something highly transformative with the content that will point more strongly towards protection under fair use. You are more likely to be protected if you are saying something quite different from what the original creator was trying to say.

Use of creative or fictional content is less frequently allowed under fair use than less creative, non-fictional material. Is this video meant for entertainment (creative) or information (non-fiction)?

How much of the video are you going to use in your work? If you are using a small portion, and not the "heart" of the work, then you are more likely to be protected under fair use. You should be trying to use just enough of the copyrighted content as you need to in order to get your point across.  So perhaps only a few minutes out of a one hour video.  Similarly, if the copyrighted content only makes up a small portion of your piece, then it is more likely to be protected.

Will your work serve as a substitute for the original? If your work will take away views or sales from the original then it is less likely to be covered under fair use.  

If after reviewing the library page on fair use and the points above, you are still unsure whether you meet the requirements for fair use, please let me know and we can discuss it further. You can set up an appointment with me using the LITS Research Services self scheduling calendar here

Best, Jim


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