American University Professors Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi -- who were behind the very successful Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use -- just released a new study that focuses on user generated video content. The study, titled "Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video," will be presented and discussed on Monday, Jan. 7 at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show. This report finds that many online videos creatively use copyrighted materials in ways that are eligible for fair use consideration under copyright law. In short, they are potentially using copyrighted material legally. These usesâ€”an exercise of freedom-of-speech rights--are currently threatened by anti-piracy measures online.Link
Researchers in the Washington College of Law and School of Communication followed thousands of links for videos on 75 online video platforms and discovered nine popular kinds of use (extensive database of examples at centerforsocialmedia.org/recutvideos). They are:
1. Parody and satire: Copyrighted material used in spoofing of popular mass media, celebrities or politicians (Baby Got Book)
2. Negative or critical commentary: Copyrighted material used to communicate a negative message (Metallica Sucks)
3. Positive commentary: Copyrighted material used to communicate a positive message (Steve Irwin Fan Tribute)
4. Quoting to trigger discussion: Copyrighted material used to highlight an issue and prompt public awareness, discourse (Abstinence PSA on Feministing.com)
5. Illustration or example: Copyrighted material used to support a new idea with pictures and sound (Evolution of Dance)
6. Incidental use: Copyrighted material captured as part of capturing something else (Prisoners Dance to Thriller)
7. Personal reportage/diaries: Copyrighted material incorporated into the chronicling of a personal experience (Me on stage with U2 -- AGAIN!!!)
8. Archiving of vulnerable or revealing materials: Copyrighted material that might have a short life on mainstream media due to controversy (Stephen Colbert's Speech at the White House Correspondent's Dinner)
9. Pastiche or collage: Several copyrighted materials incorporated together into a new creation, or in other cases, an imitation of sorts of copyrighted work (Apple Commercial)
Update: Jeffrey sez, "Today we published a video report at Wired Campus blog about the Fair Use report: It's a 4-minute video that mixes interviews with the two scholars with examples of their favorite user-generated vids."
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.