From Stacey Jackson-Roberts at American University Washington College of Law:

American University Washington College of Law’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property and AU’s Center for Social Media, in collaboration with Stanford Law School’s Fair Use Project, are launching a new video explaining how online video creators can make remixes, mashups, and other common online video genres with the knowledge that they are staying within copyright law.

The video, titled Remix Culture: Fair Use Is Your Friend, explains the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video, a first of its kind document—coordinated by AU professors Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi—outlining what constitutes fair use in online video. The code was released July 2008.

“This video lets people know about the code, an essential creative tool, in the natural language of online video. The code protects this emerging zone from censorship and self-censorship,” said Aufderheide, director of the Center for Social Media and a professor in AU’s School of Communication. “Creators, online video providers, and copyright holders will be able to know when copying is stealing and when it’s legal.”

Like the code, the video identifies six kinds of unlicensed uses of copyrighted material that may be considered fair, under certain limitations.  They are:

  • Commenting or critiquing of copyrighted material
  • Use for illustration or example
  • Incidental or accidental capture of copyrighted material
  • Memorializing or rescuing of an experience or event
  • Use to launch a discussion
  • Recombining to make a new work, such as a mashup or a  remix, whose elements depend on relationships between existing works

One Thought to ““Remix Culture: Fair Use Is Your Friend” is a collaborative project of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property—a program of AU’s Washington College of Law—and the Center for Social Media—a center of AU’s School of Communication—along with Stanford Law School’s Fair Use Project. It was funded by Google.”

  1. Well, it’s cute that they believe that “recombining to make a new work, such as a mashup or a remix” falls into the fair use category.

    Unless it meets one of the other factors allowing for use (such as critique or parody) or for fair use (such as a small nature of the work being copied for non-commercial purposes), I believe this is called a “derivative work” and is expressly prohibited without express license to do so. But hey, don’t just take my word for it, ask Vanilla Ice how he feels about Queen.

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