With more than six million subscribers, Screen Junkies is one of the most popular channels in both the film commentary and comedy genres. The channel’s popular Honest Trailers series is familiar to those who check out the trending page.
As a film commentary channel, Screen Junkies uses a lot of copyrighted clips in its videos. However, they’re still monetized. Here’s how Screen Junkies uses copyrighted content in a legal way.
The Fair Use Act allows for use of copyrighted content in certain cases.
Using someone else’s copyrighted content as part of your video isn’t always in violation of copyright law. In the US, the Fair Use Act protects the use of copyrighted content in certain cases. The act states that the use of copyrighted material is not in violation of copyright law when used for the purpose of “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.”
While fair use can only be officially determined in a federal court, judges use four factors to determine each case. They consider the purpose and character of your use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and the effect of the use upon the potential market.
Their videos often use the content in a transformative way.
In order to be considered fair use, the artistic use of copyrighted content must be done in a transformative way. This is more than chopping up a movie into just your favorite scenes. Transformative use takes the copyrighted content and makes it into something entirely new.
The “Honest Trailers” series could be considered transformative use. They turn any video, from action to animation, into a parody. The comedic nature of the videos doesn’t take away from the movies’ potential markets.
Many other Screen Junkies videos are labelled as commentary.
Screen Junkies clarifies the validity of many of its videos as fair use by clearing labeling them as commentary. After every new episode of “Honest Trailers,” they upload a commentary video on it as well.
While they aren’t commentating on the movie itself, they’re commentating on the copyrighted material used in the video. A lot of film commentary videos fall under fair use.
Screen Junkies is able to use copyrighted material in a legal way by transforming it into comedy and commentary. The Fair Use Act allows for the use of copyrighted material in instances like this.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.