Fair Use: What It Is And Why It Needs Protecting
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Fair Use: What It Is And Why It Needs Protecting

Copyright Infringement vs Fair Use

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Fair Use: What It Is And Why It Needs Protecting
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If you've ever watched a parody, satire, or critique of something, then you've experienced Fair Use. You are probably familiar with Weird Al Yankovic, whose content relies on Fair Use. This concept is what allows content creators to use parts of copyrighted material as a means of commenting on said material. As long as credit is given to the creator of the copyrighted material, Fair Use allows for works to be transformed into something entirely new.

Let's Play commenters on YouTube are another example of Fair Use. While they are playing copyrighted video games, their commentary transforms the work into its own content. On the other hand, some reaction channels like Jinx are not protected under Fair Use. This is because they repost videos in their entirety without giving any original commentary to the work.

On YouTube, Fair Use seems to be under an unfair attack. Creators of copyrighted material are attempting to censor those who parody and critique their work. Oftentimes these original creators fund expensive lawsuits against people who are unable to properly defend themselves legally. This leaves those who create content under Fair Use vulnerable.

Recently, the YouTube channel h3h3Productions released a video about being sued by someone they critiqued. YouTube is supposed to defend those who depend on Fair Use, but it rarely does so. h3h3Productions is still facing upwards of $100,000 in legal fees. Luckily for h3h3, donations poured in, which allowed for their defense to be funded. h3h3Productions has since created the Fair Use Protection Account. Smaller YouTube channels can now rely on FUPA for free legal defense when fighting unfair copyright lawsuits.

Everyone appreciates the content that is created thanks to Fair Use. We all have to understand and protect Fair Use in order to continue enjoying works that are a parody, satire and critique. There is no room for Fair Use to be abused, nor is there room for people to claim copyright infringement when their work is critiqued.

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