Wednesday, August 27, 2008

YouTube & Fair Use

Gee, what's the big deal, it was on the Internet so it's gotta be free to download right?

Anybody who's been around the Wild Wild Web very long has been to YouTube to watch a video or two. Many of the most watched videos are filmed by the Average Joe or Jane, who then dub in a music track from a well known band. Word spreads of their outstanding production and then one day they get the dreaded "Cease and desist" letter. Shortly thereafter their video is unceremoniously taken down. Who's right? "Why can't we use music in our videos?" is the cry heard round the Internet jungle.

To wit,


The copyright laws are an morass of lawyer mumbo jumbo but most folks try and run with the "Fair use" exception that allows certain uses of copyrighted material. Recently a court case was filed that may shed some light on this using copyrighted music on video issue. Los Angeles Times Article. A woman in PA is suing Universal Music Group after they had YouTube pull her video off because she had used some of Prince's music on a short video of her kid dancing around. The woman is claiming "Fair Use" for a defense in her case. Gonna be interesting the precedent this case will set.

Where do you stand? Should an artist's work product be protected under the copyright laws even if it's for personal use? Or for commentary or parody? Should this new generation, born with a mouse in their hand, be held to the same standards as us older folks were or do they get new rules to live by in the switched on computer age?

Time will certainly tell.

1 comment:

Phillip said...

Well, you probably know I'll be watching this closely, as I like to use music in my vids.

I could go on and on with my own justifications for using it, but bottom line is, once this is more clearly defined (hopefully), I won't need to justify any more.