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Old May 8th, 2009, 02:15 AM   #1
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Fair Use Credits / HELP

Hey guys, been a while since I posted, hope everyone is well!

I have a question about how to word fair use material in the credits of a documentary I'm working on. We used a quick youtube clip of a popular artists song being redone by puppets and although I know were walking a fine line of what is fair use and what's not I still want to credit them even if I have to take the scene out later. The puppets are "singing" a lil jon (rap artist) song and the person who made it used the actual song in the clip (the puppets are mouthing the words). We didn't take the video for the film we are just using the home video clips HE made to show the audience.

How do I word the credits in the end of the film? I cant find anything online about the wording of fair use clips.

"YouTube fair use clip recorded by John Doe (the subject) - Lil Jon - Get Low"

I have no idea........
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Old May 8th, 2009, 02:46 AM   #2
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I understood that if you load a clip to you tube it becomes their copyright, I may be wrong but you may have to pay you tube for the rights and the original owner gets zip!
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Old May 8th, 2009, 04:40 AM   #3
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AFAIK, there are no such thing as "Fair Use Credits." That's why you can't find a reference to them - such as thing just doesn't exist. Fair Use is a defense offered if and when you're sued for copyright infringment, it's not a category of usage or created by attribution in the credits. In fact, such a credit as you propose acknowledges you know the work is copyright and you're going to use it anyway without seeking permission, hardly a good defense.

You might as well take the clip out now. The original song would copyright, probably owned by the original composer and publisher of the words and music and you need their license to use them, regardless of the source of the recording, even if you record your own version. The owners of the Lil Jon's recording have their copyright on the recorded master. The creator of the video clip also has a copyright to that work. YouTube has their finger in the pie as well.

Unless you're using this clip for purposes of news reporting, academic research, classroom instruction in k-12 or university, critcism and review, or parody no way is your use likely to be covered by the fair use doctrine anyway. Okay, depending on the subject of your documentary it MIGHT squeak in as news but even that's iffy (talk to a lawyer). Might as well get it out now while you still can drop the scene without having to recut the whole film.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 05:02 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input thus far. I just found this, check it out and lemme know what you guys think:
http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/...tpractices.pdf

Any stabs at a credit would be great as well. (I'm only submitting this project to film festivals, not going to sell it independently).
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Old May 8th, 2009, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Darden View Post
Thanks for the input thus far. I just found this, check it out and lemme know what you guys think:
http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/...tpractices.pdf

Any stabs at a credit would be great as well. (I'm only submitting this project to film festivals, not going to sell it independently).
This is a statement of what the signatories believe (and I'd agree with them) as to what what the law OUTGHT to be, not an authoritative statement of what the current law IS. I think you're relying on the document's Point 2: Quoting Copyrighted Works of Popular Culture to Illustrate an Argument or Point. Makes perfect sense .... except to the best of my knowledge, and according to statements by IP attorneys who post here and on other forums, it does not reflect current statutory law or case law.

Infrigment is in the act of making the copy itself, not any subsequent act of selling the copy. It doesn't matter if your film is only for festival submission. Doesn't matter if you make money or give it away. If you've copied a copyrighted work and it doesn't fall under the news reporting, educational, or criticism uses the copyright law delineats as "fair use" exceptions, you've infringed. Only a court can tell for sure but by the time you ever even get to raise the fair use issue, you're out boucoup bucks in legal fees.

I would not use the term "fair use" anywhere in the credits - as I said before, it is NOT a TYPE of usage, it is a defense you can offer in court when and if you are sued by the copyright owner for infringment. The court is under no obligation to accept your argument that it ought to apply in your case. There is no such thing as a "fair use copy" or a "fair use credit." Until you're actually standing before a judge arguing your defense in a lawsuit, the term is completely meaningless.

If you're going to give it a shot and if you're going to put the attibution in your credits, use the same form you would if the music was licensed except leave off the words "used by permission" since you don't have permission. As for the form such a credit should take, perhaps something like "Get Low" Copyright 2003 John Doe, ABC Music Publishing Inc, performed by Lil Jon on XYZ Records." The title, copyright date, the composers, writers and publisher, the performer, and the record label. Be especially aware that just because Lil Jon performed the recording, it does NOT mean he owns the copyright to either the words and music nor to the recording itself. It's altogether likely he couldn't legally give you permission to use the song even if he was your best buddy. A search of the ASCAP databse comes up with about 65 references for songs titled "Get Low," none of whom list Lil Jon or Jonathan M Smith as composer or lyricist.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 06:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Darden View Post
Any stabs at a credit would be great as well. (I'm only submitting this project to film festivals, not going to sell it independently).
And that somehow makes it legal or ethical? As always, if it isn't yours and you don't have permission to use it then you can't use it. Simple rule of thumb.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 07:45 PM   #7
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Rick has put the period at the end of the sentence... enough said. Thanks all,
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