Leo Laporte Doesn’t Understand Fair Use

Lecherous Leo Laporte had quite the Reddit AMA yesterday. The shutins and nazi mods were out in full force to downvote any criticism or opposition. Unfortunately for #Soup, unlike the chat room they can’t ban you there; they can only hope you don’t view the downvoted comments (you should).

Here’s one interesting tidbit (there will be more to come from this AMA which was a gold mine as we expected):

That's not how that works. That's not how any of this works!
That’s not how that works. That’s not how any of this works!

Old License

Seems reasonable.
Seems reasonable.

New License

We knew something smelled fishy.
We knew something smelled fishy.

Hilton A. Goring could not be reached for comment.
Hilton A. Goring could not be reached for comment.
Total Drama noticed this license change within weeks and we figured it was for this reason, but now that Leo has publicly confirmed, we felt it was time to school him in the US doctrine of Fair Use under the United States Copyright law. He may want to ask Denise Howell for more advice.

From the “What Is Fair Use?” page at Stanford University’s “Copyright & Fair Use” section:

What Is Fair Use?

Leo Laporte
In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. If your use qualifies as a fair use, then it would not be considered an illegal infringement.

Commentary and Criticism

This is what he thinks of the chatters
We certainly criticize this guy.
If you are commenting upon or critiquing a copyrighted work — for instance, writing a book review — fair use principles allow you to reproduce some of the work to achieve your purposes.


A parody is a work that ridicules another, usually well-known work, by imitating it in a comic way. Judges understand that, by its nature, parody demands some taking from the original work being parodied. Unlike other forms of fair use, a fairly extensive use of the original work is permitted in a parody in order to “conjure up” the original.

Dear reader, we’ll leave it up to you to decide. Please join us in our live chat room to discuss this further, a place free of censorship, unlike the TWiT Live Chat Room or #Soup’s AMA. Feel free to say things like “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t get Leo to fit in an amusement park ride again.”

This story is a result of a tip sent in by a reader via the “Feedback & Tips” link on the right. Keep ’em coming!

9 thoughts on “Leo Laporte Doesn’t Understand Fair Use”

  1. So basically he changed the license so he can pursue legal action if he isn’t happy with something people do.

    I love the “free and open internet.”

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  2. More so that he can send out DMCAs. Wholesale.

    Thanks for the clarifications and keep up the good work.

    Or maybe I should dust off the Adobe Premiere and get to work as well. Thanks Leo and Padre for that kick to get me off my ass.

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  3. The actual Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license says:

    Section 1.d: Exceptions and Limitations means fair use, fair dealing, and/or any other exception or limitation to Copyright and Similar Rights that applies to Your use of the Licensed Material.


    Section 2.a.2: Exceptions and Limitations. For the avoidance of doubt, where Exceptions and Limitations apply to Your use, this Public License does not apply, and You do not need to comply with its terms and conditions.

    So, unless you live in a country that doesn’t have the equivalent to the US’ Fair Use, you should be good to go.

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    1. Yep. We’re aware of the real license’s text. Creative Commons is a great organization that understands Fair Use.

      However, look at #Soup’s reasoning. It is to deal with his “trolls”. Nobody is chopping up his videos and passing them off as original works. All clips here are for parody, commentary, and critique, and I can’t think of a single person that could disagree.

      Considering Leo says that Total Drama is “one ass”, I don’t know who else he could be referring to. Leo doesn’t understand Fair Use and that’s why this post exists.

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  4. From reading the headline, I had assumed this post was going to call out Leo for basing a network on reading/stealing stuff off the internet and calling it his own, and making a ton of money doing it.

    I don’t see anyone profiting from their critiques of Leo or TWiT?

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  5. Twit seems to have gotten the exact sort of trolls it deserves. I’m here for the effective and on-point parody of that hot mess, which I stopped watching some time ago without any input from you. Carry on.

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  6. Leo is a public figure (and want to be celebrity). TWiT is an internet TV station (his description). Leo and TWiT want and need to be in the public eye. Does Leo expect to not be placed under the same scrutiny as other public personalities, politicians, actors, or reality TV stars?

    I’ve seen him play many a YouTube clips making fun of various public personalities, and publicly laugh and direct his audience to this content he refers to as ‘trolling’ when directed at him or the TWiT network.

    Seems like a double standard to me.

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