In April, YouTube started forcing alleged copyright infringers to watch Copyright School a short and silly video that attempts to explain copyright law. We are all for educating filmmakers on copyright law, but as the advocacy group Public Knowledge pointed out the video sort of skips over the fair use doctrine.

Public Knowledge challenged their members to create a response video that explains fair use, and how, in some cases, making use of copyrighted material without permission is perfectly legal. This video from Patrick McKay is the winning entry:

The original YouTube Copyright School video:

You Talkin' to Me?

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Yeah… that’s still not quite right. That remixes section is completely wrong. Also fair use is a defense – if the copyright holder so chose, you could still be sued and you’ll get stuck paying for a legal bill. I understand YouTube’s stance on the portrayal of fair use, because in the end, this is far too complicated for most people to understand without studying caselaw. Check out the Wikipedia for more:


This is awesome; I had no idea fair use was such a powerful legal weapon. Transformative is key and is what makes “news agencies” safe from taking any content they get their hands on for broadcast.

Thanks for posting this…excellent!

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