Fair use as we know it tends to be a very complicated subject. There must be certain criteria met in order for the use of a copyrighted piece to be used legally without permission from the author. The parody video of LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It” transcribed to Elmo’s “I’m Elmo and I Know It” is clearly under fair use.
As Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi explain, “The statute requires, at a minimum, considering the character of the use (what are you doing with the material?). the nature of the original work (is it mainly factual reportage or an imaginative production?) the amount taken (and whether it’s the central part of the work), and the effect of the market value of the work” (Aufderheide and Jazsi 24)
To address these four points and prove that Elmo’s remix of “I’m Sexy and I Know It” let us take them part by part:
1) Character: the character of the work is maintained to singing and entertainment of the audience, but it is a different kind of audience
2) The nature of the Original Work: Both are used as entertainment but as LMFAO uses their music for a teenage crowd, Elmo transforms it to entertain a younger crowd such as children. LMFAO uses the song to state acts that teenagers would know such as clubbing and displaying confidence when it comes to speaking with women, while Elmo uses it to introduce his home in Sesame Street.
3) The Amount: The amount that is taken can be said as half, since Elmo uses the music beat but changes the lyrics to fit his persona. This seems adequate given the purposes for Elmo’s remix: entertainment, for a different age group.
4) Market Effect: In creating the remix video, LMFAO do not lose profit or possible profit. This does not affect the original work.
Given that Elmo’s video “I’m Elmo and I Know It” successfully pass the ‘four factors’ it can be safely concluded that it is under fair use and the creator cannot be sued for such publication. Any contradictions? Here is the video
Aufderheide, Patricia and Jaszi, Peter. Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011. Print.
Elmo. I’m Elmo and I Know It (LMFAO Parody). Youtube, Apr 2012. Web 30 Sept. 2012 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pvn1ReZfeM>.
“By selecting agree you agree to the TERMS AND CONDITIONS of our policy.” A statement which we all frequently stumble upon when downloading new software to our devices like computers, phones, iPods and even signing waivers. Most, if not all people, do not bother to read over the terms and conditions that come up in their everyday lives, but it is necessary to what it is we are agreeing to when we sign off on this. Otherwise we can end up like the Kyle from South Park’s “HUMANCENTiPAD” and give up our life to apple as an experiment by an apathetic accident.
William Patry makes a good statement about how the terms and conditions limit society to work freely. Notice when Patry states “The term graduated response should be replaced with a more accurate term ‘digital guillotine’ reflecting its killing of a critical way people connect with the world…” by clicking I accept, we are selling our rights by abiding to their terms, which is most of the time not taken into consideration (Patry 14). Apple does a good job of limiting our rights of iTunes as the terms and conditions clearly state “Apple reserves the right to modify, suspend, or discontinue the App and Book Services (or any part or content thereof) at any time with or without notice to you.” We are no one to iTunes and even though we are using their services they reserve the right to do with our programming as they like without giving fair warning of their actions (Terms and Conditions). Not only are we limited in our actions by abiding to their conditions, but iTunes does not reciprocate to their customers the formality of telling those that agree what they are doing. After all they do have the right to track their customers down and watch what they do.
Reading the Terms and Conditions about the product we are downloading is vital in today’s society. Although South Park’s “HUMANCENTiPAD” was extreme in portraying the consequences of what may happen if you sign a waiver without reading the terms and conditions, it is a good example of how much a person gives their freedom to the companies which they sign up to. Kyle did not bother to read what he was signing and so he granted Apple the right to use him in an experiment which would make him a part of a human centipede (HUMANCENTiPAD). The reason he did not bother to read this was because iTunes apparently sends a different Terms and Conditions every 3 weeks and they are super long for anyone to actually sit down and read. If he would have actually read through the terms he would have known what he was getting himself into. This is society every day. We sign a document or click “I accept” online when we have no clue of what the company’s terms are, and so we release them what they request on the form. Patry clearly defined this as giving away our freedom, or the “digital guillotine” to phrase it in his words.
Although it may be long and boring, it is always good to read through and see what it is that we are accepting in the terms and conditions of a program.
Patry, William F. “How the Copyright Wars Are Being Fought and Why.” Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars. New York: Oxford UP, 2009. Print.
“Terms and Conditions.” iTunes Store Terms and Conditions. Apple, 23 May 2012. Web. 9 Sept. 2012. <http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/us/terms.html>.
Parker, Trey. HUMANCENTiPAD. South Park Studios. Viacom, Apr. 2011. Web. 9 Sept. 2012. <http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s15e01-humancentipad>.