The above link is to a short video clip that attempts to explain the principle of Fair Use in relation to online media. Victoria recently sent this to Shawn Landersz, who as well as working for CAS-IP, is a keen photographer/amateur film maker, and has somewhat of an online following for his work via Flickr and other networks. Therefore as both a content generator and one who disseminates content I was interested to hear his thoughts about the use of his copyrighted works, and the ways he uses the works of others. He said:
“I don’t mind if I find my clips or pictures around the internet, as long as they mention its mine.”
This is of course subjective. Shawn said himself that:
“not all amateur photographers or filmmakers agree [that attribution will suffice] and they [also] have the right to protect their work.”
There are a lot of differing approaches out there. It’s easy to find YouTube content containing confused home made disclaimers along the lines of “I am sorry if I am violating copyright, I didn’t mean to…”?? Incidentally, YouTube have a good resource for helping people to understand copyright issues.
Creative Commons can go a long way to clarifying some of the grey areas. If one takes out a CC licence on ones work, then it is explicit that sharing, copying and derivative works are permissible given certain conditions.
But perhaps the best-best practice of all is that if you aren’t sure – ask! And for those working in IP practice we need to be especially vigilant with these matters. It could be one of the more effective ways of demonstrating IP practice!