How to use copyrighted material

There’s 10s of 1000s of posts and articles about copyright misuse, too many generated by synthetic memes manufactured by big media hydra, but here are guidelines from apophenia about how to refer to or use portions of copyrighted material fairly and legally.

  • Parody and satire:
    Copyrighted material used in spoofing of popular mass media, celebrities or politicians (Baby Got Book)

  • Negative or critical commentary:
    Copyrighted material used to communicate a negative message (Metallica Sucks)
  • Positive commentary:
    Copyrighted material used to communicate a positive message (Steve Irwin Fan Tribute)
  • Quoting to trigger discussion:
    Copyrighted material used to highlight an issue and prompt public awareness, discourse (Abstinence PSA on
  • Illustration or example:
    Copyrighted material used to support a new idea with pictures and sound (Evolution of Dance)
  • Incidental use:
    Copyrighted material captured as part of capturing something else (Prisoners Dance to Thriller)
  • Personal reportage/diaries:
    Copyrighted material incorporated into the chronicling of a personal experience (Me on stage with U2… AGAIN!!!)
  • Archiving of vulnerable or revealing materials:
    Copyrighted material that might have a short life on mainstream media due to controversy (Stephen Colbert’s Speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner)
  • Pastiche or collage:
    Several copyrighted materials incorporated together into a new creation, or in other cases, an imitation of sorts of copyrighted work (Apple Commercial)