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Fair Use In South Park And Media Description: Fair Use In Media

801 words - 3 pages

Fair Use in South Park and MediaIn examining the matter of fair use in modern media and Brownmark Films, South Park rightfully asserts fair use laws in their parody of "What What (In the Butt)." In agreement with the initial verdict and similar fair use examples like Tosh.O, fair use growing dependence makes it harder for small-scale content creators to receive proper recognition.When discussing the issue of fair use, it is important to understand exactly what it means. Fair use is a copyright standard based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism (Wilson, 2010). When lawsuits are held on the legitimacy of fair use, rulings are guided by 4 factors. These factors include the purpose and character of your use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion taken and lastly, the effect of the use upon the potential market (Wilson, 2010). These 4 factors are what quickly dismissed the fair use claims made against South Park.In the case of Brownmark and South Park, rulings were determined rather easily and quickly. The court felt the support for fair use was so strong that it didn't even need a trial (Masnick, 2011). Judge J.P. Stadtmueller concluded that South Park's use of the video acted as legitimate form of fair use being it a clear and transformative parody (Anderson, 2011). Though the defense of Brownmark was considered to be rather weak, fair use rulings without trial are found to be quite rare (Masnick, 2011). This can be considered quite controversial but given the facts of the case this is rather fair in my opinion. South Park re-created their own parody of the video with different characters, recordings and material. Material in which South Park had proper copyright (Masnick, 2011). They did not directly copy Brownmark's original video and insert it into the episode. This was the ultimate argument that rejected Brownmark's claims against South Park (Masnick, 2011).A similar issue of fair use in modern media is Tosh.O, a series primarily based on the commentary of viral videos. The "Comedy Central" show uses direct content from YouTube and other video networks and broadcasts them to hundreds of thousands of viewers. "The show asserts fair use laws to replay most of the Internet clips for no fee" (Stelter, 2010, p. 1). Claiming this as fair use allows the show to profit without disturbing copyright. This display passes all four factors of fair use. In this respect, regarding the fourth factor of fair use, it can actually strengthen the market of these...

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