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Fair Play

copyrightA catchy video called “Internet People” spoofs other Internet videos that have been popular during the past few years—like the clip of a television reporter falling off a platform in a grape-squishing event. Is it legal for the creators of “Internet People” to pull material from other videos and from television cartoons like South Park? What do copyright laws permit? To answer these questions, Pitt’s Michael Madison helped to develop the “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video” for video creators. He and other academic experts were enlisted for this project by American University’s Center for Social Media. A Pitt law professor and associate dean for research, Madison advised the group on the legal theories that provide the basis for the code, which they hope will help Internet users navigate some of copyright’s murkier waters.