As a kind reminder given the ‘Minifig” in the name, it’s not expected that The LEGO Company endorses or supports this platform. These are internal guidelines I am sharing that is no replacement for legal advice.
The MinifigNewsguy has kept a internal practice on copyright usage as informal immunity of the U.S. Copyright laws, and the evolving nature of them. Since inception in fall of 2017 on YouTube, there has not been any Google AdSense revenue coming in for a number of reasons, one was already on fixed income and secondly there was intent to be posting other’s work (copyrighted material.) In recent months, MinifigNewsguy+ has been starting up as a way to compensate rising costs around the platform (such as the web host, and other ancillary costs by no means is a “profit”.
Recent Ratio of YouTube views
It’s best to know why MNG existed, it was to post actual newscasts and some other Lego/Minifig news ops I had done before (flagship O&Os and alike) that would later become a catchall to anything Lego news, and everything else (such as airchecks, montages, etc from cable news, local media from mostly the Boston/Manchester US DMA, and the radio stations of the Manchester and Boston ADIs etc.) the ratio of air checks to “original”/Lego themed news is like 25 to 1. Meaning a news open from Copenhagen gets under 10 views in one calendar year, where a Boston flagship montage gets about 300 views.
As superficial as it can be, the likes to real-world vs the fictional world media is also split by a big margin. I’ll return to this. (As a sidenote, the views on the BCOP-TV/Radio YouTube has video posted from 7 years ago with only a handful of views, and has technically other people’s works.)
Fair Use Doctrine
Fair use is an affirmative defense that can be raised in response to claims by a copyright owner that a person is infringing a copyright. Fair use permits a party to use a copyrighted work without the copyright owner’s permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. These purposes only illustrate what might be considered as fair use and are not examples of what will always be considered as fair use. In fact, there are no bright-line rules in determining fair use, since it is determined on a case-by-case basis.
and via the Harvard’s Office of the General Counsel
One important consideration is whether the use in question advances a socially beneficial activity like those listed in the statute: criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. Other important considerations are whether the use is commercial or noncommercial and whether the use is “transformative.”
Noncommercial use is more likely to be deemed fair use than commercial use, and the statute expressly contrasts nonprofit educational purposes with commercial ones. However, uses made at or by a nonprofit educational institution may be deemed commercial if they are profit-making.
In recent years, the courts have focused increasingly on whether the use in question is “transformative.” A work is transformative if, in the words of the Supreme Court, it “adds something new, with a further purpose or different character, altering the first with new expression, meaning or message.” Use of a quotation from an earlier work in a critical essay to illustrate the essayist’s argument is a classic example of transformative use. A use that supplants or substitutes for the original work is less likely to be deemed fair use than one that makes a new contribution and thus furthers the goal of copyright, to promote science and the arts. ’
The platform’s intent is critique other’s work and educational and informal entertainment purposes. “Educational” is intended for individuals wanting to work or interested how newsgathering works, the local media industry, or criticism as demonstration of how to better do better job at their work. Entertainment purposes are the people who are fans of visual and sonic branding of local media for the most part; individuals who may be disadvantaged in working in the industry. One of the sub themes of this platform is to get local media to do it’s job, and it varies from actual reporting to promotions and creative services.
Citing Original Sources
As a general journalism practice, if it’s not your work, to cite it. The MinifigNewsguy clearly believes just because something exists on the “internet” and can randomly be seen on a web browser doesn’t make it fair use to share it. There’s only been a handful of times where video came from a former YouTube account that got “canceled” because of copyright, but when that YouTube came back, as respect to fellow news junkies, linked my posting to their account.
In some MNG+ Originals, we will be featuring copyrighted work, or even Creative Commons, and the practices for Creative Commons is to cite the sources specific to CC’s practices. Prior to posting, we verify the content through lower-thirds and a text master of citations, per to the CC’s Policies.
Why does the MinifigNewsguy.com bug appear on copyrighted work?
This is a defensive measure of what I characterize as “logo-fetishists” that like station IDs, promos and opens and make their own montage without crediting the actual copyright holder or the person that uploads. I understand this part is the more grey-matter, but as a fan, in the world of cluster-eft we would love have mutual respect from the copyright holders that we have kept our tapes, took our time and resources to ingest and digitize history, and when I see a station (the licensed copyright holder) just randomly go onto YouTube and take a clip off from my platform even legally the copyright holder has a licensing with YouTube, the journalist inside me still feels the source isn’t YouTube and citing the individual who only wants to be seen get some credit.
I put the bug on the upper right hand of the screen so it can’t just be easily covered up by default bugs or lower thirds for domestic local media, if they attempt to do screen warps, the picture will cut foreheads and other things if they so want to not plug my platform (I really mean credit.) By no means if they air my clips would that imply an endorsement
News Music/Production Music
This one is very touchy and I understand the rationale of those copyright holders. It’s an understanding of that reason. The practice is full fair-game if the content came from an original air check, or montage.
Self-made content (such as the “Resyncs”, “Old syncs”, “#NewsMusicMonday”), etc is intended to comply with the fair-use guidelines. Your humble Minifig newsie does not possess actual themes or has downloaded any of the actual theme packages, but has a large collection of the samples, which in theory can be considered fair-use. Due to many reasons surrounding licensing and rights, and just the overall consolidation to the news music industry,
Self made content with other’s music: try to use 30 seconds, little more or little less (this is what is presently considered to be fair-use in regular songs.) For any music I use, I try to keep it within this time window. This becomes a grey territory of later of the law vs the spirit of the law.
Licensing varies company to company, from my understanding the licensing varies on the amount of views. Going back Ratio of Views, this content sits online with virtually crickets watching the original stuff.
Summary of practice of uploading content
- Montages – (the snoypsis of a new newscast, format, graphics, themes etc.) – No less than 3 years old or no less than 10 minutes long)
- Full Airchecks – (the posting of an entire newscast, for emergent situations, etc. fits all the qualifiers of the Fair Use Doctrine) – recent, longer than 3 years, as long as the capture is
- News Music Related (resyncs, OldSyncs, Samples, etc.) – Source video varies, music must be either a sample, using no longer than few minute cuts, or for full fair use compliance, find a video that used the music, etc.
Original Content – All Rights Reserved!
With the re-introduction of MinifigNewsguy+ in the spring of 2023 and the related content, vlogs, and other b-roll content. The content posted for MNG+ Patreons is virtually 100% original content, or fair use, A lot that will be shared is original videography or photography. This strictly All Rights Reserved and if you want to share this you’ll have to contact my folks.
Practices Drafted : April 2023
Practices Approved: May 2023
Practices Implemented: Immediately