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How is Copyright Law for Short Clips from Movies?
copyright about short clips

Msg#: 4385417 posted 12:42 am on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm thinking about starting some site like the 5 second movies by that guy with the glasses (google it, it's really funny :)

Here is a short history if you haven't heard about it. 5 second movies are funny short clips from movies that explains the whole movie in 5 seconds, with a parody of course. The guy who did those clips had serious problems with copyright issues, and his videos got deleted from youtube after his clips got famous. Finally he decided to build his own website and he is showing all his clips there with his own hosting. He is even showing adsense at his website.

I would like to know how is this possible? Does he have some kind of contract with the big studios? How can you be able to show clips from copyrighted movies without getting pursued and even show adsense ads?



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Msg#: 4385417 posted 1:06 am on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

First, we can't give legal advice. If important, consult an attorney in your jurisdiction. Second, if Google/Youtube took 'em down, that's significant information. That the present site is still up might mean nothing more than the IP owners just haven't found out yet... but after posting here, probably will. And if commercial use (ads) is involved, might result in penalties.

Depending on jurisdiction and copyright, some allowance for short clips, for the purpose of review, are allowed... parody use might not.

Short of asking the fellow about contractual agreements, anything else is only speculation.


Msg#: 4385417 posted 1:18 am on Nov 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just figured that he is hosting his clips over at blip.tv which I believe has licenses from studios like FOX. He was pretty popular at the time when his clips were getting deleted from youtube, and he's still popular today, and his site exists from 2008 so I think his website should have been down long time ago if it was serious infringement. So maybe there is a way?

After all, the only thing he does to the movies in question is promoting them. I personally got to watch some of them after watching the 5 second versions at his website, so no real harm there.


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Msg#: 4385417 posted 11:29 am on Nov 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

After all, the only thing he does to the movies in question is promoting them

In this case why don't you get a legal agreement from the original producers?

The thing to understand is even if you take a single frame out of a movie it still part of the movie and complicates things if you act without authorization and in a manner the other end perceives as something illegal or against his business, now or in the future.


Msg#: 4385417 posted 5:11 pm on Jan 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's worth looking in to the legalities. I know there are rules that legally allow you to show clips and create parodies, but I cannot remember the specifics. Do a little research and you will be fine.

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