Fair Use What Does It Entail?

karlieEarlier tonight, my wife began posting some videos of our daughter in a school play. In fact, I wanted to create a post of the play list to show here as well. However, someone from the school saw them and asked her if she would take them down so the school doesn’t get into trouble with the Rogers and Hammerstein Organization who licenses the performances. My wife had gone to bed, and since they were on her Facebook account, I couldn’t take them down. However, I thought this would fall under fair use for what we had done? Don’t get me wrong, the school is afraid of being sued and I don’t want to impinge on somebody’s copyright, but can’t I take the excerpts of my daughter and put them somewhere so that my parents can see them (In fact, all I shot were the scenes that she was in, and pretty much only her.)?

I did some digging and Center for Social Media has put together a Code of Best Practices for fair use. The one I think that fits this situation is this:

4.Reproducing, reposting or quoting in order to memorialize, preserve, or rescue an experience, an event, or a cultural phenomenon 

Isn’t that what any parent would be doing if their child were in a play and you are just trying to get their scenes? Is this appropriate for fair use? I need some help with this. Anyone have an answer?

Fair Use What Does It Entail?

  1. David R says:

    Jeff — I’m not a lawyer, but the school’s performance would seem to fall under fair use. However, you should probably speak to someone at the CSM and find out what the legal basis is for their position.

    You can also generally password-protect media (and give the password to only those few you wish to view the clips) to prevent this type of situation. Considering that your intent is NOT to mass-distribute the clips, it would seem reasonable to be able to utilize this approach.

    Just my $0.02.

    • jeff says:

      That’s kind of what we did. My wife pulled them off of Facebook and then made them private on YouTube. You have to be friends with her to view them.


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