Home YouTube: Fair Use is Why Conan Can Make Fun of Rebecca Black

YouTube: Fair Use is Why Conan Can Make Fun of Rebecca Black

Yesterday, YouTube redesigned its copyright help center to help educate its users about the ins and outs of copyright law. Copyright law can be complicated and, in light of that, the site now sends offenders to the YouTube Copyright School where they can watch explanatory cartoons in an experience that our own Audrey Watters isn’t too sure arrives at education.

If you agree, then you might want to get in on YouTube’s next effort – a Q&A with legal experts it will be holding on the video site at the beginning of May.

Fair use, YouTube explains, “is a legal term that grants creators an exception to the strict copyright that the original content owner controls — in layman’s terms, it’s the idea that as long as the use is ‘fair,’ someone can reference part of someone else’s work for parody, scholarly reasons, or more.”

YouTube’s battles over copyright and “fair use” have spanned the years. Its most recent, and high profile due to the hilarious nature of the content in question, scuffle involved a series of Hitler parodies last spring.

Hitler parodies aside, YouTube announced today that it would be holding a Q&A with “leading experts from the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, Anthony Falzone and Julie Ahrens” on the topic of “fair use.”

If you have questions, you can submit them until April 21 and they will be answered and posted via a blog post on Monday, May 2.

And on that note, we leave you with a wonderful example of fair use – a Conan parody of Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about.

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