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.
@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.
I think that both the videos added something to the Star Wars series for fans to enjoy. I don’t think most people have an issue with it, watching it that has to deal with copyright because they’re likely to know the original source anyways. The Star Wars Saga uses short clips a music remix. There isn’t any talking and it doesn’t show the whole saga. It shows parts created for a fan of Star Wars to enjoy. They made some effort to organize the music and the clips to call that video their idea.
The Star Wars fan film is a parody of Star Wars and Mountain Dew. Since it’s not using exact scenes from the movie, it can be considered a new creation. There are some commercials made for humor where they put in ideas from films. We should allow people to create parodies because it can give them a start in creating something. Something copyrighted would be like copying and pasting information. To create an essay, you usually have to do research. You can’t write down the exact information you find. You have to write it in your own words, then explain your thoughts. But you’re still almost always going to use ideas from other people, but expand on them or rotate them in a different angle that no one else thought of. Any idea you can expand on or create new adds something to the human experience. It can add humour, creativity, inspiration, learning, and many other things.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.