Agnes’s post at Resources reminded me that I haven’t mentioned the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video written by the Center for Social Media. As the Code points out, online video has opened up a number of questions about what constitutes fair use as more and more nonprofessional content circulates on the web. And given that web video quite often makes extensive use of citations of earlier texts through remixes, mashups, and tributes, discussions of how fair use principles apply to online video are helpful. In essence, the Code bases itself in the principle of “transformativeness,” broadly defined. That is, the unlicensed use should “transform” the original material in some way, whether that entails analysis or commentary on the original, recombining elements to make a new meaning, or using it to illustrate a point of some kind. Overall, the Code is a great overview of these issues and well worth reading in full.
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