Copyright revisited

Question: I’m looking to put together a small videocast reviewing video games and movies. There are a number of trailers online from places like Apple and Game trailers. Would there be any copyright issues when using these trailers in full or partial capacity? After all these are promotional tools in the first place and having them displayed in another venue can only be good, right?

Answer: It is only good if you get the copyright owners permission. Hollywood and video game movie trailers are copyrighted material.

A Few Guiding Principles:

  • It doesn’t matter how long or short the clip is, if you taped it off cable, videotaped your TV screen, or downloaded it from some other website, it is still copyrighted, and requires the copyright owner’s permission to distribute. (distribute being the key word here)
  • It doesn’t matter whether or not you give credit to the owner/author/songwriter – it is still copyrighted.
  • It doesn’t matter that you are not selling the video for money – it is still copyrighted.
  • It doesn’t matter whether or not the video contains a copyright notice – it is still copyrighted.
  • It doesn’t matter if you created a video made of short clips of copyrighted content – even though you edited it together, the content is still copyrighted.

Fair Use Links on the Web

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