Jingle Copyright laws?

If I use a portion of a commercial in a online video (specifically the piece of a jingle) am I under violation of copyright. I see certain things being used on youtube that I would think would be subject to law, and I've heard somewhere that as long as you use under 30 sec you cannot be prosecuted. I'd like to get the facts before I get sued.

4 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Where ever did you come up with that preposterous 30-second exception?

    In Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539 (1985), the United States Supreme Court noted on the amount and substantiality of the portion of copyrighted material used, that "a taking MAY NOT be excused merely because it is insubstantial with respect to the infringing work. As Judge Learned Hand cogently remarked, "no plagiarist can excuse the wrong by showing how much of his work he did not pirate." Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp.,81 F.2d 49, 56 (2d Cir. 1936)."

    Put in layman's terms, what the Supreme Court was saying is that it doesn't matter how little you actually copied; copyright infringement is still copyright infringement.

  • Yeti
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    No, there's nothing official like "30 seconds." You absolutely cannot go by what you see on YouTube. The problem with YouTube is that copyright holders have to submit requests to have things removed, and it's only if YouTube then fails to do so that YouTube and/or the poster can have more serious legal problems. YouTube doesn't have any system to ensure what's getting posted is actual legal when it goes up. So it can take awhile for things to be detected, reported, and removed. The whole system may be changing in the near future.

    You will likely have copyright issues if you use someone else's creative work on YouTube without their permission. You're wasting your time making and posting such at video if you don't have permission.

  • 6 years ago

    The "30 seconds" exemption only applies in a few countries OTHER than the USA, and usually only if you're using the snippet as part of marketing lawful copies.

    In the USA you can be sued for using one single chord, if it is creative and recognizable, such as the first twang of "Hard Days Night" by the Beatles.

    Also, when you're attempting to defend an unlawful use by qualifying for the "fair use" defense, the amount and type of the work copied is only part of many factors the federal court considers.

    What the Supreme Court said in Harper & Row was that the small amount of taking is not, by ITSELF, a defense, but it's still a factor.

  • Jay
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Yes you are unless you speak to and either get permission from the licence holder or negotiate a fee with them/payment of some kind.

    Just because stuff is used illegally on youtube (and the person who uploads it does so illegally) does not give you permission to also use other people's copyrighted material illegally. Two wrongs don't make a right.

    I don't know where you got the thing about 30 seconds from - that is wholly incorrect.

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