Teaching copyright law with Buffy and “Twilight”

I teach Media Law, and I always looking for ways to get students excited about it. All of our Journalism and Broadcasting students have to take the class, and as you might imagine, most are not thrilled about it. I tried something new this semester to get the students attention, and it worked far better than I expected. We watched Jonathan McIntosh‘s “Buffy vs. Edward” remix, and then we discussed his Fair Use Copyright battle with YouTube and Lionsgate. The remix takes excerpts from the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” television show and mixes them with scenes from the “Twilight” movies. The result is a biting (pun intended) commentary on gender issues.

The students watched, laughed and even cheered the six minute film. Afterward, even the normally silent ones spoke passionately about the sometimes conflict between artistic expression and copyright law. This led to discussions of copyright and rap/hip hop music and parody. They were far more engaged then they would have been discussing Harper & Row vs. Nation Enterprises (1985) or Campbell vs. Acuff-Rose Music (1994) (although we did have some fun with that last one, too).

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2 responses to “Teaching copyright law with Buffy and “Twilight”

  1. What a great teaching tool! I loved the creativity you put in your class, which paid off by them getting excited about the subject matter too.

  2. Thank you for the feedback, Ryanne. I apologize for the delay in responding to your post. I hope I haven’t lost you as a reader. Take care.

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