Originally posted by NexusIntent(I took a class specifically on that in university) however it doesn't cover all aspects of the use...
My primary concern is the use of cut up documentaries and television commercials...
oh, ok, yeah, then you have to be very, very careful. but it sounds like you've been doing this for awhile and everything has been fine so far, and the company still hires you to vj.
maybe you could create a snippet demo reel to company before performance and get their OK on paper (have 'em sign) to cover yourself w/company, as extra precaution.
if you took a class, then you probrably know more about this than me. and yes, "fair use" is not dead-locked in golden rules; it's up to the judges/court in the end...this whole copyright sChtuff is a bitch and gives me ulcers too. so i usually play it safe.
one other thing you can do, is to manipulate the footage you use, that you think could possibly be dangerous, in some type of editing/effects program, like after effects or adobe premiere, so that it would be hard to figure out where it comes from.
as far as docs and comms go, i would NEVER use t.v. commercials (actually i stopped watching t.v. 13 years ago, so i have no clue what's on).
now docs i use a lot of, but not real popular docs and again, some manipulation is down if in worry, or i take scenes that are less known, but still visually interesting (which falls into the 'fair use' category).
i also use a lot of educational flicks, but i also own a large collection of 16mm films that i've transferred to digital and so quality is rather good (also i investigated whether educ film company still existed and most have died due to video/digital take over, so no one around to sue me).
if in doubt, don't show or show w/effects or superimposed w/another clip and don't show as long.
hopefully this helps...btw, i'm currently going back thru all my own tapes and capturing/compressing and it's time consuming as hell, but i'm trying to increase my personal colleciton so i can veejay-freely w/out ulcers, ha.