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ironcondor21's avatar

Can I use short movie clips in a Youtube Video?

Asked by ironcondor21 (4points) August 20th, 2020

I want to create a YouTube video where I critique Diabetes Scenes in Hollywood movies and show short clips from the movies – Is this allowed? Could I monetize it? I have not been able to get a straight answer on this, only very vague “maybe, depends, etc”…

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7 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Rule I think is if you’re making money from a movie clip or music you have to get approval from source and i say AND they can require you to pay for your using their clip.

gorillapaws's avatar

I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. You should speak to an actual lawyer if you want legal advice.

Having said all of that (and assuming you live in the US), is my understanding that you can use these clips under fair use if your reproduction is transformative into a new, original work. The specific details of how all of that works is best left to lawyers. Also I would expect to have copyright battles and DMCA strikes even if you are fully compliant with the laws. So you could be in the right legally, but still get screwed-over because it’s too expensive/risky to fight your case.That may/may not be a deal-breaker for you.

gondwanalon's avatar

Your desire to make MONEY off of other artist’s work is a big problem. Forget about that even if it is for a good cause.

I have 317 YouTube videos and 69 subscribers (mostly friends, family and acquaintances)I have a non paying account and have never made a dime from my videos (don’t want to be paid). YouTube lets me get away with using some copyrighted music in my videos. YouTube did delete the sound of a couple of my videos. Just a slap on the wrist when I got greedy and tried to use a Beatles song. Now I try to just use public domain, copyright free music when I can get cheap or for free.

Good luck!

Mimishu1995's avatar

If we are talking about Youtube, technically yes, since you are only making critique and that falls under Fair Use. You are just doing the same thing the movie reviewers on Youtube are doing. However, Youtube is very zealous about copyright, so one way that I’ve seen other Youtubers do to get around it is to replace the sound of the clips with some public domain music, unless you absolutely have to show an audio to make your case. And even so you need to add music in the background in low volume to avoid copyright. There are some clips that may not be detected by Youtube without editing, but it’s better safe than sorry.

I’m speaking strictly as a viewers of many Youtube movie reviews. There may be things that go on behind the scene that I’m not aware of.

give_seek's avatar

Critiquing and Fair Use is one thing. Making money off of someone else’s work is illegal. You must ask for and receive permission.

People make this too hard. The answer is really simple. Ask yourself if you created the work you want to use. If the answer is no, ask for permission.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ironcondor21 Like @gorillapaws, I am not a lawyer. But the answer he gave you regarding US law is correct. Furthermore, similar laws (called “fair dealing laws”) exist in the UK and most member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. So if you live in any such place, you are likely protected by some version of the fair use doctrine.

You are also unlikely to be targeted so long as you are using these clips in ways that are clearly fair use. But there is no guarantee. Luckily, take down requests are the first step in any legitimate copyright claim. If the fight isn’t worth it, you can always just wait and see if you get any take down requests. If you comply with the first request, that should be the end of it.

@give_seek “Making money off of someone else’s work is illegal”

This is false, and one of the most pervasive myths about intellectual property law. There are both commercial and non-commercial applications of the fair use doctrine.

Several factors that must be taken into consideration when determining whether or not something falls under the fair use doctrine:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

As determined by the US Supreme Court in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music (1994), however, none of these factors is dispositive. That is to say, all four are supposed to be balanced. That a work is reused for commercial purposes does not immediately mean it is not a fair use. Similar decisions have been reached in most of the Western world, though one of the more recent EU directives may potentially undermine parts of this fair use tradition for states under its jurisdiction.

In the Campbell case, for instance, it was noted that to say otherwise is to outlaw virtually all commercial parodies. The same reasoning goes for reviews that use brief clips for illustrative purposes. Crucially, neither of these activities substantially affects the potential market for the original in virtue of its use of copyrighted material. A review may substantially affect the potential market for the original if the reviewer is influential and gives the original a bad review, but that is a separate issue and is covered in the US by the First Amendment and in other countries by their various laws governing free speech.

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