It is fair to just go crazy

As you can imagine a big part of this class involves a reflection on your connection to popular culture by way of reusing pieces of media and creating a variety of GIFs and remixes. These pieces of media can come from films and tv shows, long time Youtubers or simply everyday users of the internet putting up a piece of themselves on social media.

In all cases each piece of content placed online becomes an expression of an idea that is in a form that can be copyrighted. What does that mean actually for something to be copyrighted? Are we breaking the law by creating an animated GIF such as the one at the top of this post by not getting permission to do so from the creators of Legally Blonde?

In class we watched an interesting remix that explains some the current understanding of copyright – A Fair(y) Use Tale.

The film defines copyright and the particular rule under the law which provides people to “fairly use” copyrighted materials under certain circumstances. In fact this rule was originally considered a defense users of copyrighted material could claim if an owner of the original material said that you do not have the right to use it. This is an important detail to consider as it did not mean users of copyrighted materials implicitly had the right to use a work. They could only use a fair use claim as a defense.

Well a recent court decision has just ruled that copyright owners must actually consider fair use a “right” and before sending a “takedown notice” to a user of their copyrighted material they must consider whether that user is indeed “fairly using” the work. The case is quite interesting in that the copyright holder should have seen on it’s face that video of a toddler dancing to “Let’s go Crazy” is clearly fair use. But watch below and you decide whether you think the mom owes Universal Music money for unfairly using their property to make this short video.

I heard about the court decision through my Tumblr feed and thought you’d like to see the post. I’ve been following copyright and fair use pretty closely in the media as I’m a large user of copyrighted materials in my work as a remixer and artist.

Pick one of the following pieces below that relates to copyright and right a reflection blog post. Be sure to describe two things from the piece that spoke to you and why. Also feel free to find another story that connects to copyright and fair use and/or the legal system which is interesting to you as a source.

Andy Baio is Kind of Screwed

How Creativity is Being Strangled by the Law

Everything is a Remix

Copyright Criminals

Twitter suspends SBNation and Deadspin for sharing NFL GIFs


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CT101 Digital Storytelling