If you re-edit an existing photograph, and yours isn’t the famous, original one, YOU DO NOT HOLD A COPYRIGHT.
If you created a .gif file from a television show or movie, even if it took you a really long time, YOU DO NOT HOLD A COPYRIGHT.
If you took a video clip and slowed it down or chopped it up, YOU DO NOT HOLD A COPYRIGHT.
It was Fair Use that allowed you to use someone else’s intellectual property to remix, edit, and/or alter the media that you’ve used in your creation. But that does not mean you hold a copyright.
I am so tired of people sending me messages on here saying “OMFG YOU DIDN’T CREDIT MY TUMBLR, AND I SLIGHTLY ALTERED THAT PHOTO/MADE THAT GIF!” No, you’re right. I didn’t. It still isn’t “yours.”
The thing is, I DO give credit. I give credit to photographers, or production companies/television franchises when I know where something ORIGINALLY comes from. But if I find out that you made a gif, hell no I’m not going to credit you. Know why? Because you don’t have legal rights to it, and it wasn’t YOUR effort that made the media so amazing.
Example: Someone recently tried to report me for violating “their copyright.” The item in question was a .gif file created from a clip of the Ellen Show. Why did I like the clip? BECAUSE IT WAS FROM THE ELLEN SHOW. Who would I normally give credit to? ELLEN. AND THE WRITERS AND PRODUCERS OF HER SHOW. Not some self-entitled Tumblr user who spent too much time creating a gif and hunting down everyone who ever reposted it so they could attack them for “copyright violation.” Read a book or take a walk.
Better yet, take a class on Intellectual Property law. Because I have. And I fucking aced it. I’m a telecommunications major at Indiana University, and part of what we study is intellectual property law in new and old media. We focus especially on social networking sites (like facebook, tumblr, and twitter) and learn what is and is not legally and morally sound in such communal landscapes.
Bitching about getting “credit” for something that wasn’t even originally yours goes against everything Tumblr stands for. This site wouldn’t exist without Fair Use, nor would any of your remixed creations. This is a place for sharing and enjoying media. It is not a place to try to gain cheap fame because you “made a .gif.”
Let me illustrate.
Look at this photograph. We all know I didn’t take it. I did, however, turn it pink and kick up the contrast.
NOW IT’S MINE. YOU CAN’T REPOST IT. YOU HAVE TO CITE ME OR REBLOG.
I think that just about sums it up.