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AUP->Flash-->Copyrighted Music->Explain->Now

Bokracroc

Bokra, come out to pla-ay
Crediting use is easy.

Flash submissions used as workaround simply to post music will be removed.
Quite simple too.

Flash files may use copyrighted music as a part of the Fair Use Act, but only to compliment the Flash animation in question.
Define.

What defines it as 'complimentary'? What defines it as not? Where is this line that defines it as Fair Use?
Define how a song is and isn't meant to be used.
 

Damaratus

Care to join me in my lab?
Bokracroc said:
Flash files may use copyrighted music as a part of the Fair Use Act, but only to compliment the Flash animation in question.
Define.

What defines it as 'complimentary'? What defines it as not? Where is this line that defines it as Fair Use?
Define how a song is and isn't meant to be used.

So here's how it works. In order to consider the song as a complimentary element, it cannot be the whole song, that falls under the first part.

Additionally, the flash animation created has to be something that could be copyrighted on its own. So if it's nothing but clips of various copyrighted material then it's going to be removed, but if the whole song is not utilized and what is used is part of an original flash creation, well then you have something that can be considered a derived work and therefore the use of the song is not a problem.

With the one exception being if we receive a DMCA on the matter, then the flash will come down regardless.
 

SDWolf

Habitually Lurking Lupine
Bokracroc said:
Where is this line that defines it as Fair Use?
Define how a song is and isn't meant to be used.

[Obligatory Disclaimer]
This is a question that is best answered by a lawyer who practices copyright law. The information you get from this forum is no substitute for legal counsel from a qualified, licensed professional.
[/Obligatory Disclaimer]

The concept of Fair Use really quite vague, and the line you're asking for is quite blurry, indeed. Here's what the U.S. Copyright Office has to say about it in their FAQ: http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html#howmuch
U.S. Copyright Office said:
How much of someone else's work can I use without getting permission?
Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances.

For more detailed information about Fair Use, go here: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

Damaratus said:
Additionally, the flash animation created has to be something that could be copyrighted on its own. So if it's nothing but clips of various copyrighted material then it's going to be removed, but if the whole song is not utilized and what is used is part of an original flash creation, well then you have something that can be considered a derived work and therefore the use of the song is not a problem.

Actually, derived works do NOT fall within the scope of Fair Use, unless those works take the form of news, parody, review, or criticism. In particular, fanfiction and fanart are not protected by Fair Use.

While many copyright holders will look the other way and permit such works (generally so long as author/artist doesn't make money from them), they are in no way required to permit them. In fact, they are well within their rights to demand that such works be removed.

A prime (though extreme) example of this would be Viacom's (Paramount's parent company) actions against Star Trek fansites in the late 1990's. Viacom ultimately backed down (eventually), but their decision to do so was not a legal one so much as a public relations one: They realized that alienating their entire fandom was a Bad Idea(tm).

That said, I think we'll all agree that RIAA, the MPAA, and the like, don't give a damn about public relations or what people think of them. So, they'll have no qualms about pursuing legal actions against copyright infringement, including derived works, regardless of how angry fans get. They simply don't care.

I'd strongly suggest having a look at http://www.copyright.gov/ if you're curious about the intricacies of copyright law in the U.S. If you can't find what you're looking for there, then your best bet is to consult a lawyer.

Take care!
 
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