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Disney Video Used to Explain Copyright 234

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the insanely-well-done dept.
Recently a pretty amazing video surfaced that used clips from Disney films to explain copyright law. It was created by Eric Faden of Bucknell University and must have taken an insane amount of time to assemble. Now you have to wonder how long before someone gets sued over it. Also here is a corel cache version as well as a link to the original page.
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Disney Video Used to Explain Copyright

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  • Corel? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Also here is a corel cache version as well as a link to the original page.
    Interesting, I wasn't aware that Corel was offering a caching service. Unless he was actually referring to the "coral cache" we all know and love...
  • by packetmon (977047) on Monday May 21, 2007 @08:58AM (#19207455) Homepage
    Mickey: Hi kids do you know what copyright is? Kids: Is that when you sued my dead grandmother Mickey? [zdnet.com] Mickey: That's right kids...
  • Maybe someone who managed to get the mp4 file before this went live could make a torrent of it ?
  • that was tedious (Score:2, Informative)

    by gelfling (6534)
    Even for the 65 seconds I could bear to watch it.
  • I expected something along the lines of "posting and you". Instead i got a bunch of video cuts that, even when they were brilliant, the words weren't clear enough. If he only had used subtitles...
    • by kimvette (919543)
      That is why they repeated most of the important points. It was extremely clever, having Disney tell us how Copyright Law SHOULD work, in Disney's own words. This is sure to raise Hell at Disney today and prompt a landmark law suit. This will be a fun one to watch.
  • Mirrordot (Score:4, Informative)

    by asninn (1071320) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:12AM (#19207587)
    The coral cache link isn't working for me at least, but mirrordot seems to have caught it [mirrordot.org]. Just be sure to chop off the first 3635 bytes of HTML prepended to the file.
  • Video as a Test (Score:5, Insightful)

    by madsheep (984404) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:13AM (#19207593) Homepage
    Well if you watch through the whole video you will see that they reference this video as basically being an experiment. If the creators of the video are understanding and interpreting everything they think they should be protected from the law. The only problem is that the law still allows someone to sue you even if they are wrong. Going to court and defending yourself isn't free, even if your attorney is...

    Honestly, I would be quite interested in what Disney does on this one. This would be nice to track.
    • Ignore it... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Animaether (411575)
      ...that's what I would do anyway. Oh yes, it's funny. It's uhm.. hilarious. Look at that.. snippets from Disney productions used to explain the evils of copyright. Yeah. So what else is on?

      Seriously, watch the thing.. What.. /is/ COPY.. rrrright? COPY COPY.. rrright? IT! /is/.. a.. rrright! by the COPY!.. rrright OOOwner... etc. Would you like your newspaper to be written in the style of a 'ransom note'? Sure, it'd be interesting for a day, it might even enter history as a landmark publication.. but
    • Re:Video as a Test (Score:5, Insightful)

      by johnny cashed (590023) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:33AM (#19207837) Homepage
      If Disney is smart, they'll ignore it. They don't want to encourage public discourse on copyright. Sometimes any publicity is bad publicity.
    • by Compholio (770966)

      The only problem is that the law still allows someone to sue you even if they are wrong.
      The law allows someone to sue you even if you haven't broken any laws, and if they're convincing enough they can even win.
    • Re:Video as a Test (Score:5, Insightful)

      by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:37AM (#19207883) Homepage Journal

      Honestly, I would be quite interested in what Disney does on this one. This would be nice to track.

      Disney will do absolutely nothing. There's negative value to Disney in even issuing a DMCA takedown notice, much less suing the creator of this video.

      If they were to sue or issue a takedown, the very best that could happen (from their perspective) is that the video would be taken down. There's virtually no chance of any kind of monetary judgement, and none at all that they could be awarded and collect an amount of money that Disney would actually care about.

      The worst that could happen, on the other hand, is that the whole thing could garner huge amounts of publicity and get mainstream columnists and pundits talking about the issues, the concept of Fair Use, questions about appropriate copyright durations and the purpose of copyright, etc.

      It's also possible that the court's ruling could establish some broad precedent, either strongly reaffirming and expanding Fair Use, or undermining and limiting it, but both scenarios are very, very unlikely. This video targets the exact center of Fair Use -- it's criticism and education, for non-profit purposes and its almost complete lack of entertainment value ensures that it's no threat to the commercial success of the films it uses. A court would have to completely gut Fair Use to rule that this video is infringing, and that's not going to happen. To expand and strengthen Fair Use, a court would have to not only rule that this video is non-infringing, it would have to voluntarily add sweeping statements defining Fair Use. Courts don't do that, they strive to keep their rulings as narrow and precise as possible.

      No, Disney won't see any value in pursuing this to set a favorable precedent, won't get anything significant from attacking it and would risk significant negative publicity. They'll do nothing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dpilot (134227)
        Disney MUST get the video taken down. They have a history of requiring strict compliance with copyright law, perhaps defining it even more strictly than Congress. If they allow this to pass, it sets a precedent. Maintaining copyrights and trademarks requires due diligence, and getting this taken down is part of that due diligence.

        No doubt somewhere in the Halls of Disney, lawyers are examining this video very carefully. If they think they can win, they will send the takedown notice, because if they don't it
        • by swillden (191260) *

          Maintaining copyrights and trademarks requires due diligence, and getting this taken down is part of that due diligence.

          Trademarks yes, copyrights no.

          If they allow this to pass, it sets a precedent.

          A social precedent, perhaps. Maybe. But I doubt it. Allowing it to pass sets absolutely no legal precedent, however.

          • by dpilot (134227)
            Oh, I dunno. Let's say a link to the YouTube video was posted for instance, here: http://www.lessig.org/blog/ [lessig.org]

            At that point I'm not sure that it isn't a legal precedent, because it's knowingly in the hands of someone with the capability to recognize it as such.

            When Lessig (or someone else in similar station) knows it, and Disney knows that Lessig knows it, it's a precedent.
            • by swillden (191260) *

              When Lessig (or someone else in similar station) knows it, and Disney knows that Lessig knows it, it's a precedent.

              Not in court.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Pharmboy (216950)
              What Disney has done before regarding a Copyright means nothing. Copyright requires no due diligence, no prior trying to get infringing removed, nothing. You can sue Company A for infringement and not Company B, even if they did the exact same thing, and it has no bearing on the infringement.

              Only Trademarks require enforcement and equal treatment or the trademark goes into the public domain.

              Copyright != Trademarks != Patents

              Oft confused, but the law is very different for these types of intellectual proper
        • by JimDaGeek (983925)

          Maintaining copyrights and trademarks requires due diligence
          No, only trademarks require due diligence to maintain them. I could let one person use a copyrighted work of mine for free while requiring another to pay.
      • by Xeth (614132)

        Disney will do absolutely nothing. There's negative value to Disney in even issuing a DMCA takedown notice, much less suing the creator of this video.
        Indeed, and no company or organization has ever committed a major gaffe by administering a takedown notice.
    • Honestly, I would be quite interested in what Disney does on this one. This would be nice to track.

      If I were Disney then I would do nothing, at least this time. There is already plenty of precedent to support the case that Disney has not abandoned their copyrights and trademarks (i.e. the characters, movies, songs, drawings, etc...) so why take the bait in what is obviously a trap just so that some guy who would otherwise toil in obscurity suddenly comes into the public spotlight and shines rather brigh
  • classic (Score:4, Funny)

    by poadshaw (1056186) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:15AM (#19207619) Homepage
    The public domain is a disgrace to the forces of evil
  • Next up (Score:3, Funny)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:19AM (#19207675)
    Episode V: "The Disney Empire Strikes Back".
  • Bravo! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Excelcia (906188) <kfitzner@excelcia.ca> on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:24AM (#19207737) Homepage Journal
    All I can say about this is... wow. What a piece of editing that was. Just the shear workforce-hours involved documenting the needed phrases within Disney works. The dripping irony of using Disney clips is too precious for words.

    I'm not one to waste space with a "me too" post that is essentially just the noise of me clapping, but this video deserves a standing ovation.
    • Re:Bravo! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dan East (318230) on Monday May 21, 2007 @11:18AM (#19208981) Homepage Journal
      Not to belittle the effort that went into this, but it would actually be extremely simple to locate the words you want. The Closed Captioned text of all those movies and TV shows is available, thus you just search those documents to find the words you want (like "seventeen"), and then you watch the actual source material at that timestamp to see if it will work.

      So not as much effort went into this as the story poster intoned. It's not like someone manually scanned through these movies and TV shows to watch and listen for the needed words.

      Dan East
  • by Tachys (445363) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:28AM (#19207783)
    Seriously, is Buzz Lightyear the only character to ever say the word "copy" in any disney animated film?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888)
      Knowing that Disney gets many of their ideas from the public domain and other sources, I'd say that it's verboten to use the word "copy" in a Disney film. ; )
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2007 @10:04AM (#19208159)
      Hi Tachys,

      I'm Eric Faden the director of the film . . . and yes, Buzz provided the only clear enuciation of the word "copy" that we could find. The Monster's Inc. enuciation at the end of the film couldn't be isolated clearly enough. It was quite interesting to see what words Disney films avoided like the plague: "copy" "piracy" "artist" (very interesting) "creativity."

      As an FYI, there will be a director's commentary on the MEF DVD release (in June) that talks about the ideas and challenges of putting the film together.

      And thanks to everyone at Slashdot for the great comments . . .

      best,
      e
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by kimvette (919543)

        As an FYI, there will be a director's commentary on the MEF DVD release (in June) that talks about the ideas and challenges of putting the film together.


        Does thepiratebay have an early leak of that commentary yet? ;)
  • Worth the effort? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tcdk (173945) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:30AM (#19207801) Homepage Journal
    A lot of hard work must have gone into this. But, well, the results are less than stellar. But in a ways it's more like a piece of bait for the legal department of Disney. It's not so much the message of the movie itself, but it's ability to force a reaction, that exactly the point of the message itself, that's interesting.

    Viral marketing payed by the legal department of Disney, if you want. If it works. If Disney can't find a quiet way to kill it. On the otherhand, if they do not try to kill it, a small piece of fair use got got accepted, and will set a precedence. A win-win situation, as far as I see it.
    • by swillden (191260) *

      But in a ways it's more like a piece of bait for the legal department of Disney.

      That is precisely what it's intended to be. Unfortunately, it's not very good bait. It's a piece of rotten meat visibly coated with arsenic.

      On the otherhand, if they do not try to kill it, a small piece of fair use got got accepted, and will set a precedence.

      It won't set any legal precedent. Precedents aren't set when people choose not to bother bringing a case to court, precedents are set when cases are decided by courts.

      What might be interesting is a series of videos, each one slightly further out of the bounds of Fair Use, until one is so clearly not Fair Use that Disney decides it needs to respond. Then if th

    • by jZnat (793348)
      IANAL of course, but I thought the only way to set legal precedent was in a court of law, generally in the appelate courts or higher. If so, what the hell are you talking about? "Officer, I wasn't speeding; I was just following the precedent set by the driver in front of me. Maybe if you could go catch that speeder first and prosecute him, then I can be indicted of a crime. In the meantime, I've got precedent, so nyah-nyah!" ...
      • by tcdk (173945)
        I didn't say "legal precedent" - and there's a reason.

        This... fight is fought in several fronts. Some in the courts, some in the perception of what the terms like fair-user means. If Disney doesn't DMCA (or whatever) this, it sets a precedent on what you can get away with without being sued.

        Speeding is a question of hard numbers. Understanding of a term like Fair Use is something different and a lot more bendable. As the FUD compaigns of the Intellectual Property prove.
  • Disney irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by D3 (31029) <daviddhenning&gmail,com> on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:31AM (#19207821) Journal
    The fact that Disney is working so hard to extend copyrights to an indefinite amount of time is rather ironic considering their biggest hits are from public domain stories. In fact, I hope a good EFF or other lawyer gets to point out in court that basically Disney would not likely exist if it weren't for the public domain.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:36AM (#19207867) Homepage
    Strictly ignorant lay opinion here, but I'd think it would be OK according to the informal fair-use guidelines widely referenced by universities and libraries, e.g. the University of Texas system. [utsystem.edu]

    "Factor 1: Character of the use:" seems to me that in their first column it's nonprofit, and arguably educational. In the middle, it's criticism, commentary, and most bodaciously "transformative."

    "Factor 2: What is the nature of the work to be used?": Imaginative and published, somewhere in the "doesn't tip the balance" part of University of Texas' scale.

    "Factor 3: How much of the work will you use?" Only a small amount is being used for each work. I'm not sure what the total amount used from any individual work is, but it's tiny.

    "Factor 4: If this kind of use were widespread, what effect would it have on the market for the original or for permissions?" I find it impossible to believe that a person with a copy of this video would show it to their kids in lieu of any of the Disney films from which the clips were taken. And I don't believe the Disney organization is currently making any money at all licensing clips for use in videos like this one.

    • by lilomar (1072448)

      "Factor 4: If this kind of use were widespread, what effect would it have on the market for the original or for permissions?"
      I also happened to notice a comment on the video where someone said "Wow, makes me want to go watch all those disney films." So you could say that it actually increased the market by just a little bit.
    • Although the film's content is most likely protected by fair use, Disney could probably sue and win with the anti-circumvention provision of the DMCA [wikipedia.org].

      According to Sec. 1201 (a)(1)(A) of the DMCA:

      No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.

      Disney can probably argue that all forms of media released for some of these films contained technological measures to control access to the work. So VHS versions probably contained Macr

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Random832 (694525)
        (note: IANAL) Actually, Macrovision doesn't control access as such. The reason DVD CSS "controls access" is not its role as copy protection, but its role as region enforcement. Macrovision does not aim to render the video unwatchable to anyone in possession of the legitimate original physical media. This provision was probably originally meant to apply to stuff like cd-key based enforcement of software licenses.
  • Make sure... (Score:5, Informative)

    by yakumo.unr (833476) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:47AM (#19208005) Homepage
    you actually read the green screen FBI warning, it's not your ordinary copyright notice :)
  • Original page and coral cache seem to be already slashdotted, so the only way to get it is that eeeeviiil torrent thing [thepiratebay.org].
  • by Siener (139990) on Monday May 21, 2007 @11:00AM (#19208781) Homepage
    They are the defenders of copyright! If it wasn't for their lobbying efforts the copyright of Mickey Mouse would already have expired. Imagine the chaos! Anyone would be able to create Mickey Mouse material, effectively stealing money from Disney's pockets and removing all incentive for them to create anything new - it would give people free reign to steal their work.

    If copyrights expire then everyone could just profit from other people's work instead of having to come up with original material the way Disney has over the years. Imagine if Disney could just use works with expired copyright instead of creating originals like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Treasure Island (Planet), the Little Mermaid and hundreds more ...Oh, wait...
  • by Dan East (318230) on Monday May 21, 2007 @12:03PM (#19209531) Homepage Journal
    According to the credits at the end of the video, it contains excepts from the following Disney Films:

    Aladdin
    Alice in Wonderland
    Atlantis: The Lost Empire
    Bambi
    Beauty and the Beast
    Dumbo
    The Emperor's New Grove
    Finding Nemo
    Hercules
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    The Incredibles
    Jungle Book
    Lilo and Stitch
    The Lion King
    The Little Mermaid
    Monsters, Inc
    Mulan
    101 Dalmatians
    Peter Pan
    Pinocchio
    Sleeping Beauty
    Snow white and the Seven Dwarves
    Tarzan
    Tarzan II
    Toy Story
    Toy Story 2
    Treasure Planet

    Dan East
  • I'm going to listen to downloaded music while downloading movies and dance a copyrighted dance all at the same time!
  • by AlpineR (32307) <wagnerr@umich.edu> on Monday May 21, 2007 @12:18PM (#19209693) Homepage
    Brilliantly written and edited. I was enlightened by the part that says fair use is not a right, it's a legally defensible position. It is legal to copy a copyrighted work for the fair use purposes such as critique and satire. But the author has no responsiblity to make that copying convenient.

    Movie studios have every right to make copying video discs difficult. They're not obligated to sell unencrypted data; they sell bits and we voluntarily buy bits. But it must not be made illegal for purchasers to circumvent that copy protection if they are able.

    And I truly wish that the creators and Congress would remember that there are two parts to the bargain of copyright: an unnatural protection of creative works from copying and a reasonable, limited duration for that protection. Congress might have the right to extend the copyright duration to forever and a day, but it's a stupid move because it stifles the creativity that copyright is meant to promote.

    AlpineR

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