Tag Archives: Fair Use

Fair Use and U.S. Copyright Laws

Authoring and giving permissions are the rights of the owner of the copyright to the people who want to reproduce for their purposes. “One of the rights accorded to the owner of copyright is the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords” (Copyright) and “One of the more important limitations is the doctrine of “fair use.”” (Fair use). The fair use was contained in section 107 through section 118 of U.S copyright law. From section 107, there are many various purposes for reproducing work may be considered fair. Also, there are four main principles to be considered in determining that it violates to the copyright law or not. They are characteristics with purposes, the nature, the quantity with substantiality and the potential value of the reproducing work.

For the “Star War Fan Film”, I think it violated to the U.S copyright law because it used the original video from the movie to make commercial video by modifying in the end.  “The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work” and “The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes “(Fair use).  For the “Star Wars Saga”, in my opinion, it violated to the U.S copyright law as well as the “Star War Fan Film” did. The video maker still used the original video from the movie but this time, the video owner modified the video by combining multiple scenes of “Star Wars”. “The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole” (Fair Use).

Fair Use and Copyright Law

@MyDtcAccount – Jonathan Crabtree

Fair use and copyright laws protect the owners of original content, but, sometimes, they also strangle out creativity from other people. Many people have to be very careful when working with original pieces of…well, just about anything. In the “Star Wars Saga” video, the creator used many different clips of star wars film and played them along with a techno song. Honestly, the result was not very well done, in my opinion. The clips jumped all over the place from movie to movie, and there was no story told. That said, the reason the author didn’t place them in chronological order is probably because, if he did, he could be violating the fair use laws by recreating an idea. Fair use laws protect the owner, but hurt future creators.


The star wars fan film is a little different. It doesn’t take any actual footage from the movies, but it is obviously taking the ideas behind the series. Having a jedi, a Darth Maul look-alike, and going after “the force” would, I think, violate copyright laws. Copyrights don’t only protect against the actual physical material, but it protects ideas and concepts from being copied, which is exactly what happened. It is ultimately up to the federal courts to decide whether or not it was a violation, but I really don’t see how it couldn’t be one. If an individual has seen star wars, they immediately can tell that that is what the fan film is referencing, which, if you can do that, it’s probably a copyright violation.

Fair Use and U.S. Copyright Laws


I have never seen Star Wars, nor know what it is all about. However, I know infringement of copyrighted material when I see it. The Star Wars Fan Film was a complete infringement upon the copyrighted works of its authors. If the creator of this fan film used his own characters, I would be okay with that. But using the same characters from the movie and simply tweaking some parts is not acceptable. In college, that is known as plagiarism. In a broader and more realistic sense, it is known as copyright infringement. Stealing the works of the author and making minor adjustments for your own benefit. I wrote a paper upon this very particular subject and found that some people do not infringe on purpose. This very fan that created the flick could have been one of them. Sometimes you don’t even know that you’re doing something illegal until you get slapped in the face with a couple thousand dollar fine. It is at that very moment when reality strikes. The second video also bears the name of copyright infringement. The music that is playing in the background is slightly modified, yet still has the same roots. The scenes from the movie are also copyrighted works. They shouldn’t be used without the permission of the author. Fair use is determined if the media in question has an “affect on the value of the copyrighted work” (Copyright). While it does not have an effect on the market, the fact still stands that the copyrighted material was still used unlawfully.

blog 5


I think both videos may or may not be legal in terms of Fair Use and U.S. copyright laws. Both videos give credit to the original name “star wars” on their video titles. The presentations and message are different from each other.  The star wars saga is just scenes from the original movie but with different background music than the real star wars theme song. Even though they use some scenes from the original movie it may not be legal because the U.S. copyright office states “copyrightable works include the following categories:  motion pictures and other audiovisual works”.  The other video is just trying to advertise Mt.Dew.  Although the same characters are in both videos they have different physical appearance. These videos may not be legal because the U.S. copyright office states “Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, a new version of that work.” This is basically saying that no matter how much you change you need to ask for the owner’s permission in order to make those changes.  These videos are tricky to explain if they are legal or not.

Copyright Infringement or Not?

I would say that both videos are legal. The first “Star Wars Fan Film: The Essence of the Force” would fall under the Parody clause. Even though they mimic the sounds and the basic good guy in white and the bad guy in black with hand to hand fighting and using a power within, it is all made in fun when shown how the force is from Mt Dew and that the good guy even wants to share. The creator’s goal is different than George Lucas’ in they just wanted to show their love of his work and Mt Dew in the best way they could.

In the second film “Star Wars Saga” the author took bits and pieces of the all the movies in the series and did a remix with the songs and sounds is no different than what the “A Fair(y) Use Tale” video did with all the Disney movie snippets. What he shows did not take away or give away any of the key parts of the story, but makes it more like a movie trailer for the whole series. His goal was not to tell the story in the same way as the original but concentrated more on the emotional reactions to the music.

Both of these videos did not diminish the sales of either franchise and neither of them made hundreds of copies to be distributed and compete within their respected markets. They both created something different enough that it had become their own.

Audra Mann | @WSUVcollegeMom

Star Wars: Copyright and Fair Use


The two videos of Star Wars are examples of being able to use copyrighted materials legally through Fair Use. Fair Use for copyrighted material can be used for criticism, teaching, comment, news, research and parody. To remain within the Copyright law, the material used is limited and  cannot have “an effect on the copyrighted work” (Copyright). Copyright laws “assure authors the right to their original expression, but encourages others to build freely upon the ideas” (Lethem). I believe both videos from Youtube are within the U.S. Copyright laws. The first video, “Star Wars Fan Film,” is a fan-made film with similar ideas of the original storyline. The Jedi is defending something important (the Essence of the Force) from evil and fights with the Force and light sabers. This video is a parody because the Essence of the Force is a soft drink, Mountain Dew. The second video, “Star Wars Saga (The Best Trance Remix Montage),” includes multiple parts of the six Star Wars movies with a music remix in the background. The sound from the movies are not used, instead the Star Wars theme song has been remixed. This song is recognizable, but it has enough changes to make the remix an original. Also, I believe the footage used from the movies is short enough to not be plagiarized. This video can be seen as educational because it reveals important events throughout the Star Wars Saga. Although I see these video to be legal under Copyright laws, the Federal courts can disagree since they decide what is “fair.” I see these videos as harmless and will not affect the market value of the original work.

Blog Post 5:


Both videos that are shown have their parts that show whether or not they may or may not be legal within U.S. copyright laws. For example at the beginning of the fan film the Fox logo is used but it is a parody of the original Fox introduction. This would qualify it as a parody and cannot be punishable by U.S. Copyright laws. If it was then any parody that involves any original material would be punishable under those Copyright laws. Not only this but the Fan Film uses it’s own characters only replications of the actual people. This again is a parody and should not be punishable under U.S. Copyright law. Furthermore, the plot itself is not correct and the scene of the fight takes place in the wrong area but also serves as a teaser for the real purpose, a mountain dew commercial. The trance remix; however, actually takes films from the movie with some sound. On some cases this could be a violation of copyright law because of the blatant film and sound also the video does not act as a parody but as a follow up to the music remix. This would most likely count against copyright but might fall under fair use considering how only a small portion is taken from certain scenes at a time. It also has no impact itself on the value of the film but rather increases it by using personally remixed music of the saga.

Copyright and Fair Use


“The distinction between what is fair use and what is infringement in a particular case will not always be clear….” (Copyright Fair Use). When determining what is fair use or not, a couple of characteristics such as purpose of the material and the effect on the market must be taken into consideration. I think that the remix star wars clip, “Star Wars Saga,” is brushing the fine line of being illegal. First off, the whole video is all clips from different Star Wars episodes. So while, it uses “portions,” from different episodes, the whole video is composed of the Star Wars Saga (Copyright). I think that it is illegal in terms of the saga as a whole.

Furthermore, the Mountain Dew fan film is in my opinion, also illegal. Fair use is determined by whether the material has, “an effect on the value of the copyrighted work,” (Copyright). The video uses Star Wars to promote another product, where Star Wars fans may hate Mountain Dew and limit their consummation of Star Wars precuts because of its supposed endorsement of that drink. Therefore, decreasing the value of Star Wars in the market. The nature of the work was not to promote Star Wars, but to use a well- known material to increase the value of a beverage product. So the “nature,” of the work was not fair at all, unless Mountain Dew could promise the Star Wars Co-operation a increase of value in the market system (Creative Commons).

Blog post #5


Fair use and copyright laws have become a big deal since the rise of websites such as youtube and the creativity that modern day computers bring us. Videos such as “Star Wars Saga” allow us the take small pieces or “clips” of video and piece them together in any way we want while adding our own sound effects over it including music as we see in this video. The video is considered a “parody” of the original Star Wars movie and while parodies are often seen as having their own original ideas and not blatantly stealing from the original, people have been sued before for creating parodies so it’s ultimately up to the Federal Court to decide.

The other video, “Star Wars fan film: The Essence of the Force”, is a parody in the form of a mountain dew commercial that uses ideas from the Star Wars films, but doesn’t use any video or audio clips from the original movies. It instead uses ideas created by the Star Wars films such as The Force, the Jedi Order, and lightsabers. While it doesn’t directly take anything  from the original films, the ideas and objects that the fan film takes from the original are very famous ones that are often seen in the media. If they used ideas or objects trademarked by George Lucas or the company associated with the original films without permission, then they are indeed violating copyright laws. I believe LucasFilms may have a trademark over some of these so the people who made the fan film could very well be violating some laws and pay for it if it attracted attention from LucasFilms.

Discussion Post 5


While only a federal court can deem whether a piece of work is considered “fair use” or not, under general guidelines the Youtube film “Star Wars Fan Film: The Essence of the Force” is undoubtedly a case of fair use. The video has merely taken the idea of Star Wars, implemented his own scenes and transformed it into a parody advertising the soda Mountain Dew. Even the words that scrolled in the beginning of the film that resembled those in the beginning of Star Wars movies were different. In my opinion, this is obviously transformative and could probably be considered a parody as well. The second video named “Star Wars Saga (The Best Trance Remix Montage)” is also transformative and under fair use because it’s clearly a compilation, paired with music to polish the remix. One argument that might be made against the video is that it isn’t considered to be a “limited amount” used for transformative purposes. I would argue this with the fact that the video is only slightly over 7 minutes long and there are plenty of examples that use the same idea. The video we watched in class about copyright using the Disney characters were a compilation of audio and video clips from Disney movies was used irony to simultaneously teach and show fair use, which is similar to what was done in the second video.