Can I make tribute videos using pictures of my favourite stars or cartoon characters and upload them on YouTube?
Generally, a tribute video would reproduce parts of the films in the series as well as perform part of the underlying script. Further, uploading the video on YouTube involves communication of the work. Both reproduction and communication of a work are the exclusive rights of copyright owners. Therefore, if the parts used are substantial in terms of their distinctiveness and importance to the original series, it may be a case of copyright infringement.
However, you may use parts of copyright content without having to first seek consent if your use is fair. This is called the “fair use” exception.
There are 4 statutory factors that the court will consider:
1. The purpose and character of your use;
2. The nature of the work you are using;
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion of the work you are using, in relation to the whole work; and
4. The effect that your use will have on the potential market for, or value of, the work.
This is ultimately a factual assessment to be made and the court may also take into account other relevant factors.
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