Today, a fine line exists between what does and does not qualify for fair use. It is a constant struggle that video posters face when trying to spread their new content. In a case personal to me, I went in fairly blind and luckily did not face any problems. Last May, my final project for my AP Statistics class was to make a video promoting statistics and showing our knowledge of the course. My friends and I decided to make a video dubbed “Straight Outta Stats Class”, a parody to NWA’s 1988 hit “Straight Outta Compton”. We sampled the beat, and soon laid down the track and made a satiric mimic of the NWA’s music video.
There are four factors than can determine whether or not a work falls under fair use policy (Aufderheide and Jaszi 24). The first of these is the character of the use, or what is being done with the material in question. In this case, we were using NWA’s beat for ‘educational’ purposes and for slight entertainment at the same time. The second factor is the nature of the original work. The original was used as a hit music video, and was a completely original production, which topped charts. The third factor is the amount taken from the original work. This may be the one area where our video infringes slightly. Although completely satirical, we used the same beat and used the original lyrics as somewhat of a template for our lyrics. The last factor is the effect of our video on the market value of the original work. Since the original video is almost 25 years old at this point, there is little that could greatly affect the market value of it, and our video appeals to somewhat of a different audience. I think one reason why we have not experienced any kind of trouble in keeping this video up is that we had no commercial intent for it, “although the term noncommercial has no clear legal definition” (Aufderheide and Jaszi 7). Another reason might be that there were probably not too many people outside of my high school who saw this video, and no one had any serious quarrels about the intent of it. Above all, our video is transformative of the original, with no intent to uproot the success of the original video, and we used the media for our own personal educational purposes. All these facets of our video make a great case for why our video does qualify for fair use.
Aufderheide, Patricia and Jaszi, Peter. Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011. Print.
Statisticians With Attitude. “Straight Outta Stats Class.” Rec. 22 May 2012. Evan Fonfa, 2012. YouTube. Web. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klE30p50nN4>