January 25, 2005
So, I made my own movie. I made copies of my movie, dvds, videocassettes, whatever. I sold copies of my movie to Blockbuster. They rent the copies to their customers. My copies don't have that cool FBI warning that tells Blockbuster's customers that they can only look at my movie in their homes, they can't show it to anyone outside of their homes, and they better not make copies of it, or else!
How can I get the FBI to put that cool warning on copies of my movie?
I think I'll call someone at my local FBI franchise and ask em. Maybe they'll tell me too, what to do if someone shows my movie to a group of college kids at the University of Wisconsin.
January 26, 2005
FBI part 2
So the FBI pretty much said, "what warning? We don't have anything to do with that warning. We don't care if someone watches your movie on a cruise ship. They can watch it in Carnegie Hall or the Albert Hall, or in a classroom at the University of Wisconsin for all we care. Give us a call though if you notice any swarthy people acting strangely. "
"But what about that copyright stuff, that law that says my movie is mine and no one gets to do anything with it without checking it out with me first? What about piracy? What about that?" I said.
"Listen kid", the woman said, "I've got two words for you, fair use. Did you get that, fair use. Look it up. It might be important."
"OK", I said. "I'll check it out in Funk and Daniel's."
"Good. Thanks for calling. Oh, wait minute, I've got a question for you. You got any idea how many holes it takes to fill a University of Wisonsin classroom?"
"Huh?" I said. The lady hung up.
Fair Use is the provision of U.S. copyright law that allows the use of copyright protected works without the permission or authorization of the copyright owner. Under fair use certain types of uses are not infringements. Copyright owners may not like your use, may wish that you didn't use the work the way you did but if your use meets the four factor test that considers:
The purpose of your use
The nature of the original work your used
The amount of the original work you used
The effect of your use on the market, or potential markets for the original work
Then it could be that your use is a fair use and there's not a lot the copyright owner can do about it.
So, not much help really, right? The dictionary is only just beginning.