Video Commentary & Fair Dealing Copyright Laws?


I’d like to create a video that shows people how to make something (arts and crafts based). As part of the introduction and conclusion, I’d like to use other peoples’ work and was wondering if this is allowed via ‘critique’ in the UK’s Fair Dealing Copyright laws.

In particular:

1) I’d like to show a screen capture of me typing in a keyword into google images and then showing them various images that show up. It would take 30 secs to 1 minute’s worth of time. And it would involve me essentially saying ‘here are lots of examples of what you could make’.

2) In the same video, I’d also like to show a snippet (i.e. no more than 10-20 seconds, possibly much less) of someone else’s video (say a youtube video), where they show a tool they use. I’d then like to recommend alternative tools that the viewer could use instead. So essentially, it would be like a commentary saying, ‘See what this person is showing and saying they use – well you could also use x, y, z instead’.

The video of me actually doing the tutorial of making something, and then the two other uses of other peoples’ content (as explained above) would all form part of one video.

I would plan to show the video on my own web site. I may also post it to social media sites and video portals but I’m not sure yet.

Would these be considered as ‘Fair Dealing’ under the UK Copyright Laws? Or would this fall under infringement? I know that Fair Use exists in the USA but it seems that UK Copyright Law is much stricter. 🙁

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2 Responses to “Video Commentary & Fair Dealing Copyright Laws?”

  1. SimonC says:

    Fair dealing covers the use of a copyright work for review or criticism of that work or another, or for news reporting. Copyright is also not infringed by the incidental inclusion of another work in your own.

    I think both of your examples are probably the wrong side of the line, but you might be able to argue that you are not breaching copyright.

    In example 1, there is no criticism or review so you can’t use that example. You might be able to argue that the inclusion of the search results is incidental, but as you are deliberately making a search that might be difficult. But either way, you are deliberately using Google, so would probably be breaching their copyright.

    In example 2, your use of Youtube is clearly not incidental. You might be able to argue that you are reviewing or criticising the example you show, but it seems to me that it is actually being used as content for your own material, so you are not fair dealing. Even if it is, you have to make sure you include a sufficient acknowledgement of the original source.

    My suggestion is to find videos and images that have specifically been licenced to be used freely (under the appropriate Creative Commons licence or similar). Its not clear whether your use is commercial, but if it is make sure the licence allows that sort of use.

  2. RichB says:

    Number 1 I see no problem with – copyright doesn’t really apply in that case, I would have thought. A search engine is primarily a tool, not a content provider.

    Number 2 is possibly more problematic. At the very least, using snippets of someone else’s amateur, non profit making video is impolite – why not just ask them?

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