Hey everyone! A project I’ve started in the past month is a Twitter/YouTube for showing Japanese vocab/grammar in context in Japanese TV shows. I personally have had an obsession with Japanese TV for years and it ended up being extremely helpful for improving my own listening and understanding, so I wanted to spread that and create a resource that others could use for seeing textbook/JLPT patterns in authentic contexts.
So first, shameless self promo - check out/share my Twitter (where I post one short example per day) and YouTube (where I make longer videos with more detailed explanations)! Disclaimer that I am obviously not a native speaker myself, so it’s more aimed towards beginner/intermediate learners where I have a better understanding of the vocab and grammar, but I’m still trying my best to make sure I’m giving accurate information.
The main question I have, though, is if anyone here is familiar enough with Japanese copyright laws to tell me if I might run into any issues with doing this down the road. I know that in America, it’s usually legal to use media - even if you’re monetizing your content - as long as it falls under Fair Use. I believe that my YouTube videos fall under the American definition of Fair Use because I edit the TV clips to repurpose them for educational purposes and thus “transform” the copyrighted work. However, I know Japan is more strict about copyrights, and the place I get my footage from is… well… probably not something I should post here, so I’m kinda iffy on this. That being said, I have seen monetized channels that use scenes from anime/TV (like this and this), but for all I know they could’ve paid royalties or done something else behind the scenes to get permission to use the clips. I am very new to all this and my channel is still in its infancy so I’m not sure where I want to eventually take it, but I just want to be aware of what I’m getting into. Any insight would be appreciated!
Usual not-a-lawyer disclaimer, but according to this page, there was an amendment to the copyright laws in 2018 that does allow some amount of fair use.
You might want to be careful there. Just cutting something up doesn’t necessarily make it “transformative”
A lot of the time, people don’t realize that they’re violating copyright. YouTube has The Content ID system that can be used to redirect revenue to copyright holders, and that stops the vast majority of takedowns and lawsuits.
It’s probably best to run things by a copyright lawyer to make sure what you’re doing is fine.
Also note that the amount of the work included is also evaluated. Several reaction YouTubers got in hot water for posting full episodes, even edited.
I’d say that your safest bet is to use a few minutes of each scene to illustrate a particular point.
Since you are using Japanese TV shows they are likely under Japanese copyright law. I also do not believe being a educational Twitter account is enough to let you use clips of other people’s copyrighted material. Make sure to do your own research and not just take my word on it.
Thanks for the links and advice. I do think for at least my YouTube, I could be okay. I pause the clips every few seconds to explain something and most of the time I do a fair bit of editing that goes beyond just splitting clips up. I also never use more than a minute or two of any episode per video. Belthazar’s link mentions Japan allows fair use where “the intended use of such works is not the enjoyment of the ideas or emotions expressed therein,” and I want to believe that moooost of the stuff I’ve done so far falls under that, though there obviously is some gray area.
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