Changes to UK law mean that YouTubers will now be able to use clips from films, TV shows and songs for the purpose of parody without facing copyright sanctions and strikes on their accounts.
The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations legislation comes into force today.
Prior to this, YouTubers have faced legal action for using copyrighted material without consent, and in some cases YouTube suspension.
Last month YouTuber Ali Jardz had his parody of a David Attenborough documentary based on Fangirls taken down due to a copyright claim by the BBC. The video ‘David Attenborough Observes Fangirls’ has since been re-uploaded to YouTube and can be viewed here.
Under new UK law owners of copyrighted material will only be able to take action and sue if the parody conveys a discriminatory message. It would then be taken to court and it would be the judge’s decision whether or not the parody is ‘funny’.
The EU rules state: “The only, and essential, characteristics of parody are, on the one hand, to evoke an existing work while being noticeably different from it and, on the other, to constitute an expression of humour or mockery.”
“If a parody conveys a discriminatory message (for example, by replacing the original characters with people wearing veils and people of colour) the holders of the rights to the work parodied have, in principle, a legitimate interest in ensuring that their work is not associated with such a message.”
The existing rules had been criticised by many content creators, and the new law is expected to lead to a growth in creativity for parodists.
.@David_Cameron Thanks for legalising parody Dave. Looking forward to your speech later.
— Cassetteboy (@Cassetteboy) October 1, 2014
Man, I wish this new parody video law thing was around in 2006, I lost so many videos to youtube copyright claims back then :(
— Ƀɇn Ħɨȼꝁłɨnǥ (@BenHickling) September 30, 2014