he used a video that used his video that a company used to gain profit
so why can't he use it?
Okay, let's follow the breadcrumbs…
Mr. Knight created this (rather lame) video:
The events that transpired were - according to him - this:
VH1 took the video that I had created and hosted on YouTube, and made it into a segment of Web Junk 2.0. Without my originally-created content to work with, VH1 would not have had this segment at all. They based this segment of Web Junk 2.0 entirely on the fruit of my own labor.
I got to catch the episode and was laughing pretty hard not just at host Aries Spears's witty commentary about my commercial, but that VH1 had found the commercial worthy of sharing with such a vast audience.
Please bear in mind that at no time prior to the broadcast of this show was I contacted by VH1 or its parent company Viacom. At this time, I've received no communication from Viacom whatsoever about this.
I was quite aware that they were using my own not-for-profit work for commercial purposes and that they should have contacted me. But I didn't really care that they were doing that, either. It was just nice to see something that I had worked on getting seen and appreciated by a lot more people than what I had intended for a local audience. And I was glad that Melody Hallman Daniel, the voice-over actress in the spot, received some widespread notice of her considerable talent.
I was so proud that my commercial had been highlighted on Web Junk 2.0 that I posted the segment featuring it on YouTube so that I could put it on this blog, just like I'd posted the original commercial.
Okay, so VH1 pulled a bunch of crap that was available for public display and made a show around it. Not a show I'd care for all that much, but there you go.
They added commentary to the video either before or after the video.
That is a valid use of “Fair Use”, because it adds content to the original, and uses the original as an example.
Then Mr. Knight posts the VH1 episode - or at least the portion his video was featured in, and it got yanked off of YouTube.
(The letter Knight received looks an awful lot like a form letter from YouTube and it is very possible it was deleted by a YouTube moderator applying whatever their standards are, and that Viacom wasn't even involved. But it's also possible Viacom complained, so we'll go with that).
What Mr. Knight did was NOT fair use, as he wasn't using the Viacom video as a reference of a work of his own, but rather posting a copyrighted show.
However, had Mr. Knight created “bookends” to the video, or even added commentary withing the context of the show, Viacom would have no standing to have the video removed at all. Because then he would be using the “fair use” laws as well.