Re: [Videolib] Use of Film Clips in Presentation

Gary Daniels (
Fri, 20 Jan 2006 14:34:18 -0500

Regarding for-profit and not-for-profit fair use. The federal courts have
actually ruled in 2003 that using a "thumbnail" version of an image is
perfectly legal and an acceptable fair use whereas using a full image was
not. This case involved a for-profit entity that was reproducing comic
strips on its website.

Google used this ruling to create its Image search feature. Google is a
for-profit entity and provides access to MILLIONS (billions, perhaps?) of
copyrighted images through this Image search function. But because Google
only provides thumbnails that then link to the actual image on the copyright
owner's page, this has been deemed acceptable fair use.

In fact, fair use is what allows Google and any search engine to actually
exist. All of these search engines copy text directly from a website in
order to display it in their search results. Some of this text even includes
trademarks. Google doesn't need permission nor does it need to pay license
fees for copying and publicly displaying this information because it is
considered a fair use. And Google is a billion dollar company.

Likewise, there are for-profit universities and not-for-profit universities.
Copyright law doesn't change because of the business structure. If a use is
fair, it is fair for anyone regardless of business structure.

And if you violate fair use, once again, it doesn't matter if you're billion
dollar Google or barely-squeaking-by Catholic school on an Indian
reservation. You can be sued for copyright violation.

For-profit and not-for-profit has little to do with fair use. The law is
applied equally to all.

-Gary C. Daniels

On 1/19/06 5:59 PM, "deg farrelly" <> wrote:

> There is nothing in the fair use provisions of US copyright law that
> provides any indication of portion limitations. The notion of 3 minutes,
> retention of 2 years, etc. mentioned here (and in an earlier post) are not
> absolutes. They are, instead, a "safe harbor" within which one can feel
> relatively certain that one's use is fair use. These portion limitations
> were were articulated in the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia,
> as part of the CONFU process.
> But those guidelines (the only guidelines officially adopted as part of the
> CONFU process, if memory serves me) go on to say that OTHER portions might
> * still * be fair use, depending on the application of ALL of the four
> factors of fair use: amount of the work, nature of the work, effect on the
> market, nature of the use.
> While there is no specific provision that a use be not-for-profit, I think
> an individual would have a harder time making a fair-use claim in a setting
> in which money is being earned from the presentation.
> --
> deg farrelly, Associate Librarian
> Arizona State University at the West Campus
> PO Box 37100
> Phoenix, Arizona 85069-7100
> Phone: 602.543.8522
> Email:
>> From: Gary Daniels <>
>> Reply-To: "" <>
>> Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 15:55:01 -0500
>> To: "ALA: videolib" <>
>> Subject: Re: [Videolib] Use of Film Clips in Presentation
> <snip>
>> Fair Use doesn't require the commentary to directly relate to the copied
>> work. You can use a clip from a film to illustrate some other idea...such as
>> sports psychology. Fair use DOES, however, limit how much you can copy and
>> how long you can use the copy. (No more than 3 minutes/ no longer than 2
>> years). It also requires that you give credit to the copyright owner. (I.e.,
>> "Courtesy 20th Century Fox")
>> Fair Use also doesn't require that a use be not-for-profit. TV news networks
>> are for-profit entities but can use clips for commentary purposes without
>> paying licensing fees. That's why you'll always see "Courtesy Network Name
>> Here" on any clip they use from an outside source.
> <snip>
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