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Copyright Clearance Tips for YouTube and TikTok creators

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Attorney Steve® Fair Use Basics

Film producers and video creators have a real chance today to be the next Stephen Spielberg.  Content abounds on the internet, and sites like Instagram rolls, YouTube shorts, and TikTik videos can provide a chance to get your name out there and potentially even make money in the career you love.  Many times, the top creators (just like the top teachers and top lawyers) are storytellers.  Many times you need third party content to help tell your story.  In this case, there are several ways to go about it:

1.  Get permission from the Rights holder (ex, the photographer for a photo you want to use or the music rights to a song you want to use).  Typically, you would want this in writing and there may be a fee involved, and it could take some time and technique to make sure you are dealing with the proper parties.  For music, you need to get the rights from both the publisher and the holder of master use rights (ex. the record label).  You will need a "synch license" as well if you are putting music/song to visual arts/movies.

2.  Another way is to find "public domain" content.   Typically, movies and videos from the 1800's would be free to use as most copyrights have run out (double check).  However, if you get it wrong or miscalculate, you could face a copyright infringement lawsuits.

3.  Another way is to qualify for "fair use" (best to use a fair use opinion letter and an IP firm like ours).  Fair use is a statutory right under 17 U.S.C. 107 but there are four factors you need to analyze.

This podcast helps highlight, in general terms (not legal advice) some of the issues you may have as a content creator.  AttorneySteve.com




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