Audio clip copyright question.

I’m animating a clip to a little speech by John Lennon from The Beatles Anthology 1. If, in the future, I want to post this clip online, is this fair-use? It’s for my demo-reel, not to be sold, credit would be given, what else do I need to do?
(Hey! It’s my first New Thread!)

Well, a court would have to decide, but if it’s a short clip from the speech, you’d probably have a good “fair use” defense.

How long is the clip? If it’s less than 30 seconds, it’s probably okay under Fair Use. And since you’re not planning to release it commercially, there shouldn’t be any problems.

However, if you do decide to a) release it commercially (e.g. list it in iTunes for money) or b) publish it to the Internet, Capitol Records and/or the Lennon estate may have something to say about it. If you go that route, contact Capitol Records’ rights-management department for information on how to get permission to use it.


It’s 16 seconds.
I’m not looking forward, exactly, to putting my demo reel online, but I might have to. I just wanna get a job. How willing would Capitol (or whoever) be to agreeing to such a use?

If it’s that short, it most likely falls under Fair Use, and you don’t really need to worry about it.

I feel your pain, brother. I’m trying to get a job, too.


Remember, too, that just because “Capitol Records and/or the Lennon estate may have something to say about it” does not necessarily mean that it isn’t fair use.

It is not unknown for copyright holders to threaten and intimidate people regarding use of their material, even when fair use clearly applies. Just because someone says that you’re in the wrong doesn’t necessarily mean that you are.

I know that, but I was educated in the “better to get permission than beg forgiveness” method, especially since the copyright holder happens to have access to lawyers and almost bottomless resources to fight and the OP probably doesn’t. Even if garygnu (and I love that user name, BTW) is in the right, it’s going to cost money to fight it out if he can’t make the lawyers go away on his own.