Copyright or fair use?

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    • #72006541

      I am making a documentary which includes the presenter sitting at a laptop opening various websites. The documentary is educational and not commercial. Will there be copyright issues or will the viewing of the websites be considered “fair use”?
      Thanks Nigel

    • #72006602

      I really don’t know the answer to that. Clearly, websites are copyrighted and you could get in trouble showing them. But as a documentary filmmaker creating an educational video you have more wiggle room. Take a look at this video on Fair Use and Copyright Infringement. I think you will find it helpful: It is long but covers a lot of great information.

      Utah Video Production

    • #72006697

      Utah Video Production Thank you for that link. It is indeed complicated and I think the message I got from it was that I would be taking a risk showing the websites in my video.


    • #72006702

      It depends. For me, I do TV commercials and corporate videos. If I did a wait loss commercial and had voice talent saying “Fast food makes you fat and doesn’t taste good” while showing someone looking at a McDonald’s website I would be in hot water. Because you are making a documentary you have a little more leeway. They actually do cover it somewhat in that link. Keep in mind corporate logos are trademarked and they are on company website. The person in the link is actually a lawyer who specializes in this topic and could help you. I’m sure she isn’t cheap though. Hope this helps and best of luck.

      Utah Video Productions

    • #72006719

      I had a very similar issue last year, I received a lot of conflicting advice. so decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

      Matt @vebu

    • #72006770

      I can only relate this to UK law, but the killer is your very first post. The video will be educational and not commercial. Where will the video be hosted? Let’s say it’s youtube. Will it be monitised? If you receive even a tiny sum for people watching it, then you’ve been paid, making any decent lawyer go in that direction. It seems very tricky to me.

    • #72008403
      Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

      OP…Are you underground?

      Own no real estate?

      No steady hi-powered job?

      Just got the clothes on your back, a few bucks in your wallet, smartphone, a vid cam, laptop and old car?

      You are probably judgement proof and can do as you like more or less.

      They wont get anything from you but practice. Especially if you work within what is generally accepted understandings of what fair use is and not intentionally breaking copyright for selling pirated items.

      Many times the lawyers will go after cases just to try to extract blackmail money even though it would probably decided as ‘fair use’ in court. But who wants to go to court? So people pay small $$ to settle irritation cases.

      …but I’m no lawyer.

    • #72008476

      Hi All Thanks for the comments. I am not sure I am any further forward. It seems a very grey area. I definitely have no intention of the documentary being commercial. I have recently been looking at Shutterstocks definition of commercial or editorial. It is a pity you could not just tick a box on YouTube to say the video contained editorial material. Thus covering yourself. Maybe I have got that wrong though!

    • #72008499

      If you click to monetize your YouTube video that is a way of saying it is commercial. Not checking it sort of says it is editorial…or at least you don’t want to make any money off of it on YouTube.

      Savvy Productions

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