The United States is a nation which values the freedom of expression so much so that the freedom of press is included in the first amendment to the United States Constitution, one of the country’s most important documents. Oftentimes, people see creativity as an individual process that is based solely off of one’s own thoughts and ideas. However, according to Aufderheide and Jaszi’s book Reclaiming Fair Use, “Everyone makes work on the basis of, and in reference and relationship to, existing work” (Aufderheide and Jaszi 21). The creation of new ideas would not be possible without the ability to consider the ideas of others. Fair use is important it reduces the limits of the free flow of ideas that copyright laws can pose.
Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who is the idol of athletes across the globe. He is widely recognized as the fastest human ever to live, and he holds the world records in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes. In DJ Steve Porter’s remix video “Faster Than Lighting,” Usain Bolt is depicted rapping. The video is made by cutting short snippets from an interview Usain Bolt had. The video has received over 800,000 views on its original YouTube link since its release in May of 2012.
I believe this remix video falls under fair use because it is transformative and follows the four factors of fair use. The purpose of Bolt’s interview was to be informative and to keep viewers up to date with his training. On the other hand, DJ Steve Porter’s remix video was intended for entertainment. Further, the length of each clip taken from the interview only lasted for a few seconds in the remix video and was “appropriate to the purpose of the use” (Aufderheide and Jaszi 24). Lastly, the video is not intended to tarnish the reputation of Usain Bolt or to change the market. Bolt is in no way victimized or depicted saying inappropriate things. If anything, DJ Steve Porter’s remix video serves to promote Usain Bolt as a key figure in society today. The video shows Bolt encouraging healthy competition and a hardworking mentality.
DJ Steve Porter’s remix video “Faster Than Lighting” is a good example of a fair use that justly transforms one work into a completely new idea. As pointed out in Reclaiming Fair Use, the United States is becoming “A nation of makers and sharers, not just consumers of other people’s copyrighted material” (Aufderheide and Jaszi 7). DJ Steve Porter had every right to show his creativity by making his remix video. Imagination is important to society, and fair use allows it to be welcomed and encouraged. Fair use gives people the ability to balance copyright by allowing the creation of new ideas without sacrificing authors’ sense of ownership.
Aufderheide, Patricia and Jaszi, Peter. Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011. Print.
Porter, Steve. “‘Faster Than Lightning’ feat. Usain Bolt – DJ Steve Porter Remix.” YouTube. YouTube, 2 May 2012. Web. 30 September 2012.