BEFORE YOU SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
This is a topic that maybe a lot of you already know and hold dear to your heart. Well, good for you! Pat yourself on the back! However, there is always the occaisional, avidly determined individual, who gets too spunky for their britches and somehow does not get the full lecture of important life lessons. In this case: Copyright Laws.
When it dwindles down to the fine innerworkings of the law, we always find loopholes to film or piece together creative pieces that have resonated deep within our hearts. The latest fan film, Power/Rangers, has made waves and not only has started a new trend but has led a movement to exercise the right, "fair use".
Fair use is the policy that allows creators to "copy" or transform an already made work for their purpose. The limits for this law are undefinable and has caused some controversy for various court cases. Fair use is most often used in two cases: commentary, or parody. Both only allow the creator or writer to use only portions of the original work they are re-working.
Infringement is when someone "encroach(es) upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another". This is when whole works are blatantly used in the exact same context they were originally published. Its ok to remix, considering how much is taken and being used, but it crosses the line when it reaches a certain. Look at the Blurred Lines case for example.
So remember, when you go out to make your fan made project, that the law may try to find a way to get to you!