Copyright law protects content such as books, songs, motion pictures, tv shows, plays, photographs, illustrations, paintings, sculptures, computer programs, etc. etc. One major exception to the rights owned by the copyright owner is the "Fair Use" doctrine. The Fair Use doctrine states that in certain limited circumstances that which would otherwise be considered an illegal copyright infringement - (copying a copyrighted work without permission) - is permissible. These limited circumstances include purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching and parody. Here is a link to a very clever 10 minute animated film which uses excerpts from many Disney films to illustrate some basic copyright principles and the Fair Use doctrine.
Although we don't necessarily agree with some of the arguments made by the filmmaker, we still believe this is a very entertaining and valuable introduction to copyright law and the Fair Use doctrine. [More about what we don't agree with in this film in our next blog entry].