Here’s a small article trying to help, or to warn, or just to say, or well, I don’t know exactly what I’m trying with this article. The fact is that this article is about the derivative work of the derivative work.
We can study on Wikipedia what a derivative work is and we’ll find that it is a work of art made of another work of art; a common example would be a music clip, using some music, and some video footage. Well, then we can now say that the latest two Youtube sucess videos, the Nyan Cat and the Dramatic Look, are both derivative works, and they creators weren’t able to make money from them because they didn’t hold the rights of the previous works.
In Dramatic Look case, the video footage comes from a Japanese TV magazine, and the music is from another movie. The creator, currently unidentified, didn’t have the rights to make that derivative work and he/she didn’t earn a penny from it.
In Nyan Cat case we know the creator, Youtube user SaraJ00n, the designer of the animated gif and the composer of the music. But she didn’t ask for permission to use it and the three of them haven’t got to an agreement and all those visits to the original video on Youtube haven’t generated a penny. Isn’t it curious, at least?
Now comes the funny part. If I want to make a video, should I create an original piece or a derivative work? Well, answer is no black or white, but in my case I prefer to make original pieces (or pieces which have their rights in the public domain now), instead of making derivative works. Perhaps with a derivative work you will see more visits in the beginning, but you won’t be able to make money from it and in the end it will be a littlebit frustrating. But hey, the World is a free place (or isn’t?), you can choose to do what you want.