When does content fall under 'Fair Use' policies?

martee

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I'm sure a lot of you will have seen various videos using other portions of TV shows/other YT clips and stuff within their own videos. One example that stands out to me based on a lot of the more 'funny' YouTubers I watch is that Spongebob skit with the "X hours later". Whilst this particular clip is only shown in those videos for not much more than a few seconds, I assume it is still under the purview of the creator of Spongebob (or whoever) to allow the license for that clip.

Is things like that covered by the fair usage policy? The last thing I would want as a YouTuber is to use that portion just for a laugh and then end up with a red flag email from YouTube telling me I've been copyright claimed for a Spongebob reference! Problem is, the 'fair use' portion just seems so subjective in it's interpretation so I've no idea what I can do properly, and what I cannot.

What do you think? Is something like that be fair use? What kind of things are fair game in your view?
 
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