Basic copyright protection exists from the first moment that people or companies publish original works online. Creative writing that people share on social media, songs that they upload to digital platforms and videos shared online all benefit from a certain degree of copyright protection.
The owners of copyrighted works or their creators can take legal action when others infringe on their copyright protections. However, there are rules allowing the use of copyrighted works in an assortment of situations. Those scenarios include the fair use of copyrighted works.
Reviewing or responding to the original works of others is an example of fair use. The amount of the work sampled and whether or not someone monetizes their response to the original will influence whether the situation meets fair use standards. There are three primary ways that people sometimes work around the rules to sample massive amounts of copyrighted works that extend beyond reasonable fair use scenarios.
Speeding up or slowing down audio or video
One of the most common methods for those who make reaction or review content online to sample large portions of other people’s work is to manipulate the original work. They alter the rate of speed when playing a song or video. Doing so makes it easier to avoid the digital systems in place to automatically detect copyright violations.
Zooming in on video or photographs
The use of the entire screen to display a video or image is more likely to trigger copyright concerns than minimizing the video or image that someone responds to. People will sometimes even zoom in on a portion of the original work as a means of somewhat altering the image and making it harder to claim that they outright copied the original.
Using small amounts at any given point
Instead of playing through an entire song or video, those creating review or reaction content often break the original down into many smaller pieces. They may show a portion of it, respond, and then play more. They may use a similar tactic for audio files or songs. These measures largely work to avoid automatic copyright enforcement software utilized by major online platforms. However, these minor efforts do not automatically ensure that the use of another party’s content has the full protection of fair use rules.
There are still circumstances in which the copyright holder or content creator who owns the rights to the original can fight against the inclusion of original works in the content release by others. A variety of circumstances may potentially lead to successful litigation even when someone has employed special tactics to try to avoid automatic deletion or demonetization. As a result, creators and/or copyright holders may benefit from seeking legal guidance when their rights are being violated.