A Fair(y) Use Tale A Fair(y) Use Tale

A Fair(y) Use Tale

Film history professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University explains copyright law, via clips from Disney and Pixar films, in this clever video posted by Stanford Law School. Watch it below on YouTube or download a copy to your computer from the Stanford website.

(via Boing Boing)

  • This is brilliant.

    Seems like the issue of copyright has been coming up in my life a lot recently, especially with the issue of scanned images & photos. I’ve been meaning to get ahold of a lawyer and talk about the issue of what if someone takes one of your vintage photos that you had scanned and did some digital manipulation to it (a la Photoshop) and then they go and put it on a sheet of other vintage images and sell it on their website.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this, Jerry.

  • Zapnut

    Interesting use of Fair Use, shame it takes a few minutes before it’s actually watchable though.

  • Bugsmer

    That was funny and informative. I hadn’t known that the new work must not compete financially with the original. Thanks, Jerry.

  • One interesting thing is that the way it’s cut shows the difference between the different animation styles used at Disney over the years. For instance, going from rubbery, squash-and-stretchy Tytla animation of the Snow White dwarfs, to a shot with very stylized design and movement from Mulan.

  • This “commercial impact of the work”… seems like a loose interpretable concept. OK, so even if you’re not openly competing financially with the original, you are in fact sort of altering the impact of the work by presenting samples of it – maybe I haven’t seen Monsters Inc, and you show me a sample from the end of the movie where we see Mike being threatened by Randall – OK, so now I know Mike is going to get in trouble because of Randall, who is a bad guy… whatever, maybe it doesn’t tell me much, but maybe it’s not what the author/s had in mind about what can and what can’t be show for free. So my question would be – can’t in fact… pretty much anything… be considered to “alter the impact of the work”?? Which can in turn “alter the commercial impact of the work”…?

  • This … is … very… informative… and … kinda…cool .. hehe

  • Tom Minton

    These young legal minds may be brilliant but they still misspelled “Dalmatians” on the end credit crawl.

  • Did clever and “incredibly annoying” suddenly become the same thing?

  • Very Ingenious. Demonstrating copyright law through a carefully-edited collage of excerpts of movies belonging to the most litigious copyright holder of them all.

    I’m waiting for the sequels which demonsrate copyright with Rush Limbaugh and Scientology.

  • Hahaha

    I guess this isn’t the place to debate copyright law, but this video is awfully one-sided…well what little I saw of it before becoming annoyed. Still, a clever idea.

  • Paul

    Brilliant! And of course it’s one-sided; it’s describing how copyright law is defined. There aren’t two sides to a law.

  • Peter

    One-sided in that it seems to consider copyright to be unfair. As a designer I naturally think copyright – protection from being ripped off – is good! The only real problem for me is the over-zealous prosecution of minor infringements by big companies whose copyright, and their ability to profit from it, is no longer in any danger!

    But I absolutely loved the compilation! Brilliant – and I haven’t seen ‘Monsters Inc’ but the clips were so short they were meaningless to me, and gave nothing away – and a nice test of the ‘fair use’ defence – will the Disney lawyers challenge it?

  • Here’s a link to a government webpage you should visit if you are in need of copyright information and forms.


    It only costs $45 plus postage. You don’t have to be F. Lee Bailey to fill in the forms to protect yourself.

  • Shandy

    Very funny. The large corporations who like to sue whenever they need pocket cash have managed to frighten our society from building on ideas. A one sided view? Only from the stance of seeing how far the issues have been pushed. Actually, my favorite part of this video was the part about copyright being extended from 14 years to Life + 70. Talk about slowing down the growth of ideas.

    As I am currently working on a parody, I discovered this in a very timely manner (thanks Dad!).