Copyright, Fair Use, Parody and Fan Art – What Animators Should Know

copyright and what animators need to know about it, fair use, parody, fan art and more, episode 103 rubberonion animation podcast

HOT COCOA SHOW! This week we talk all about Copyright, Fair Use, Parody, Fan Art and more in a discussion that’s centered around a blog post I made on the topic a couple days ago (click here to check that would which ALSO has this episode embedded in it for good measure)! Creators on the internet mostly get the blame for using and sometimes abusing copyrighted material in their own creations. Sometimes they constitute something new and other times they’re not at all covered under fair use and are basically just stealing, whether intentional or not. As pointed out early in the show, ignorance is not a defense against copyright infringement. However! “Internet creators” are not unique in this area, there’s just a lot more artists sharing their work now than there used to be… and much of that work is the exploratory stuff nobody ever used to be privy to in the pre-internet age.

Because the copyright has been extended to such a degree that more of the art which is actually still relevant in our time is copyrighted (proportionate to in the past when the copyright term was much shorter), the risk of stepping into legal quicksand is actually even more probable now. More creators, being seen earlier in their careers than ever before, in a time of extended copyright on the pop culture that itself is uniquely used as a cultural reference point of expression… that’s complicated!! I aim to make things clearer for you by making it clearer for my co-host Rob in this episode of the podcast and help further in the companion blog post which I encourage you to check out.

Listen for The Blob Blog, what started the hipsters hypothesis, “that’s pathetic, bro” and Happy Birthday!

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Topics & Timestamps:

(10:32)  Is that the same as plagiarism?
(23:10)  Talking about Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
(28:21)  Dreamworks’ new Mr. Peabody & Sherman Netflix series and Rob’s new parody short
(50:26)  The four factors used by a judge to decide if a work is covered under Fair Use
(1:16:25)  Is Fan Art legal?
(1:19:16)  Derivative and Transformative works
(1:25:51)  What’s the deal with Fan Fiction?
(1:30:56)  Cease and Desist letters (C&D’s)
(1:44:03)  TL;DR (or… TL;DL?)

Media Referenced During this Episode:

Night of the Living Dead in the public domain (16:59 and again in more detail at 35:00 and a shoutout to James Rolfe’s Cinemassacre commentary at 37:19)

Little Shop of Horrors (1960) in the public domain (20:13)

Rob’s first “Mr. P. Dawgy and Simon” short (47:25)

Baby Got Back mashup video (57:50)

Vanilla Ice “explaining” why Ice Ice Baby is different than Queen / David Bowie’s Under Pressure (1:00:45)

“Saturday Morning Watchmen” by Harry Partridge (1:11:54)

“Thought of You” by Ryan Woodward (1:35:10)

Stephen’s first Instagram post

Check out more of your hosts:

Stephen Brooks
Rob Yulfo

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Written by
Stephen Brooks

Stephen Brooks is a freelance animator in NYC that specializes in a hand-drawn style. Being a professional since 2005, he also produces indie shorts with self-made music, sound fx & voices. Lately Stephen has taken to introducing others to animation with production VLOGs, a podcast, instructional videos and is writing a book on traditional principles in a digital world. View his animation work

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