What is ‘Fair Use’ in online video mashups?

Posted by on Jul 9, 2008 in Guides & Tutorials | 4 comments

The issue of copyright infringement is something that most people are aware of. It’s pretty obvious that if you take a recent movie or TV show and rebroadcast it or distribute it online in its entirety, that is copyright infringement. But are you aware that a legal principle of ‘fair use’ exists, and has done so for more than 150 years? And that ‘fair use’ means that much of the current trend for mashups and parodies of copyrighted content is, in fact, totally allowed?

The US based ‘Center for Social Media‘ is an organization with a good track record of educating everyday people about the law, and establishing guidelines that people within the legal world actually follow. They’ve just released a ‘Code of Best Practices for Online Video‘ which we think will be of interest to many WorldTV producers.

In the spirit of fair use itself, we’ve reproduced the main points below. Do read the whole document if you intend to make use of these provisions.

What is Fair Use of copyright material?

Here are the main principles of ‘fair use’.

  • Commenting on or critiquing of copyrighted material
  • Using copyrighted material for illustration or example
  • Capturing copyrighted material incidentally or accidentally
  • Reproducing, reposting or quoting in order to memorialize, preserve, or rescue an experience, an event, or a cultural phenomenon
  • Copying, reposting, and recirculating a work or part of a work for purposes of launching a discussion
  • Quoting in order to recombine elements to make a new work that depends for its meaning on (often unlikely) relationships between the elements

A PDF of the guidelines can be found here, an online version is here.


  1. Alguém poderia traduzir, não entendi muito bem o que pode e o que não pode.

  2. niceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  3. Para traduzir a pagina, clique na bandeira portuguesa no lado direito da tela.


    WorldTV Staff

    “to translate the page, click on the required flag on the right hand side of your screen.”

  4. “boossah”
    Sendo admirador da WorldTV, parabenizo a Equipe que a faz acontecer de forma fantástica, transpondo limites, atravessando fronteiras e Continentes, de modo agigantado, invejável, propiciando interação dentre diferentes Povos, com som e imagem em qualidade de alto nível!

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