Fair Use and Online Video

I find this sort of article interesting to read but ultimately more puzzling than directly useful. The difficulty is that so many such articles, presentations, documents etc. apparently confuse US law with some sort of world law, and attempt to apply it to a global concept such as the internet.

While it may seem easy to ignore the existence of people, countries, organizations and laws outside the USA, the internet has no such naivete and will happily serve your content to anyone who asks. This makes anything involving copyright enormously more complex. If you make and distribute something according to the US provisions of “fair use” it is still possible, and even likely, that it contravenes some other law or protocol applicable to some people who choose to view, listen, download or re-mix it.

I don’t know how to solve this problem, but I’m pretty sure that ignoring it and only considering the legal position in the USA is not a solution.

Online Video Resources — Center for Social Media at American University