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Copyright Question Answered

I recently got into this amazing song called 'Sad Machine', and I have what I think is a really good idea for an AMV.  My only problem is- you guessed it- copyright issues.  I'd like to make it in my animation software and upload it to YouTube, but from what I've heard, it's hard to get a request for using a song in a video noticed, let alone accepted.

According to YouTube:
"1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes

Courts typically focus on whether the use is “transformative.” That is, whether it adds new expression or meaning to the original, or whether it merely copies from the original. Commercial uses are less likely to be considered fair, though it’s possible to monetize a video and still take advantage of the fair use defense."

I think I may be covered here, since I do not have monetization enabled, and my idea completely different from the official video.  Then there is this:

"Uses that harm the copyright owner’s ability to profit from his or her original work are less likely to be fair uses. Courts have sometimes made an exception under this factor in cases involving parodies."

For what I have in mind, I don't think it would take away from its profitability.

I realize that without a visual of mine it's going to be tough to determine, so what I'm thinking is storyboarding then sequencing it to the song on another platform.  Maybe then you could see what you think.  I value your current input very much, though.


Use it in your video all you want. You just can't make any money with the video. If Youtube gets a complaint about the song they will mute the audio on the video or suspend your account. Check the AMV forums. Most AMVers i know don't post there stuff on Youtube. They use other video sharing sights that stay off the main stream radar.

Youtube has an annoying feature whereby it *automatically* detects music that might be copyrighted as soon as you upload it.

Cover versions are far enough from the original that they slip through the robots, but using the original song on an animation would cause issues. Maybe adding sound effects could fool the robots?

Well, at one point I had made a video as a tribute to my friend and it included a song by The Grateful Dead. I did get a notification about it, but all it asked was that I verify that it was third party content. The video was still allowed up, music and all, and no legal action was taken as far as I knew. I ended up taking it down out of pure paranoia that legal action may be taken later. It all really depends if the owner of the song wants to take any action. As for adding sound effects, how do you mean?

It depends on your video - if the characters fall, add a crashing sound etc.

Ah, I see. I will give that a go, then... Thank you very much.