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).
While I am not intimately familiar with current copyright laws, sometimes it can be easy to recognize infringement. A prime example would be the Star Wars fan film “The Essence of the Force.” This short film can be kind of funny, but that does not make it legal. It starts off with the typical Star Wars intro I.E. a long time ago, the text scroll, and even the Star Wars logo. While the names of characters are never spoken, it is easy to see that the main characters are supposed to be Darth Maul and Obi Wan Kenobi. There are also many references to the force, and the main characters use light sabers. I absolutely believe that this is copyright infringement. However, I do not think the Star Wars Remix is copyright infringement. If anything it is appropriation. In the remix instead of creating their own knock off Star Wars movie, it is basically a montage of the first six movies with music playing over it. The reason I think that the fan film is copy infringement and the remix is not is because the fan film is attempting to promote something that has nothing to do with Star Wars. Whereas in the remix Star Wars is still the focus of the video and whomever put it together is not trying to promote something like a soda company. I believe that as long as the appropriated material is still promoting the original work, then there is no copyright infringement.
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
In modern media, there is a lot of debate on the subject of what is fair use or copyright infringement. When it comes to the YouTube vide “Star Wars Fan Film – Essence of the Force,” I feel that this media was close to being fair use but in the end was more of a copyright issue. The video’s format is obviously based off of Star Wars themes. From the intro until the end, it is just like a Star Wars film. With proper credit, this would be fine because it is essentially a tribute film, but in the end it was used for promoting a product (Mountain Dew). Videos are not in fair use if “used upon the potential market…”
I feel that the other video, “Star Wars Saga (The Best Trance Remix Montage)” was fair use. Fair use is determined by whether the material has “affect on the value of the copyrighted work” (Copyright). I feel the video is not copyright infringement because the author is using movie clips from Star Wars to make their video more appealing. It sets the mood for the remix. With proper crediting, the use of these images is in fair use. Like the previous video, I feel the clips were used for tribute and admiration. The original copyrighted audio from the movie was replaced with an original soundtrack.
There is definitely a fine line between what is and is not fair use. It is difficult to be original with media because many “new” ideas were influenced by previous work.
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.