Would it be considered fair usage if five seconds of a television show is used as part of a three-minute video? 5 Answers as of September 27, 2012

The said video will be published online. While it is used in a comedic manner, it is not strictly a parody of the source material. The usage of this footage does not seem to, in any way take potential profit from the owners.

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Lawyer for Indie Media
Lawyer for Indie Media | Sue Basko
You should discuss this with a lawyer. What is Fair Use is not set in stone. You are always better off getting permission to use copyrighted work. When you talk with a lawyer, they will want to see the video you plan to use, see how you plan to use it, know your plans for where you will put it online and if you will make any money on it, and other things. Still, any answer a lawyer gives you does not guarantee that the owner of the copyright will not pursue you. And there is no guarantee that a court will not agree with the copyright owner that your use is not Fair Use. A lawyer can give you an educated guess once they view all the material and plans, but that will just be a prediction of what may happen.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 9/27/2012
Day and Koch, LLP
Day and Koch, LLP | Bartley Day
Fair use is inherently a gray area and problematic in regards to the use of short clips. From a legal perspective, various legal and non-legal/practical issues must be considered.....just for example, the past litigiousness of the content owner, which for a TV show will usually be either a production company or the network, as well as the nature of the material used (for example, is it the use of an iconic scene from a legendary TV show?). Another consideration is how the video will be used and possibly distributed or broadcast, because in some instances a third party will require proof of licensing before showing the video. Also, you can't necessarily assume there's no loss of profit potential, as that is a more complicated legal issue than it appears to be on the surface. Sorry for the complicated answer, but that's the reality of many 'fair use' situations.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 9/27/2012
Neil J. Lehto, Esq.
Neil J. Lehto, Esq. | Neil J. Lehto
Fair use is always a question of unique facts that, when you have doubts about, ought to give pause. Ask yourself, why are you using somebody else's video?
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/27/2012
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Probably not. Not only would you be violating the owner's copyright, but also the right of publicity of any actor who appeared in the clip.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 9/25/2012
Stone Law, P.C.
Stone Law, P.C. | Jason D. Stone
It depends on the exact usage of the television show as to whether a specific usage will constitute fair use. Several factors apply to a fair use determination, it is not merely an economic harm based test. You should speak with a local attorney about this matter.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 9/25/2012
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