‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ GIF Project Pushes the Limits of Fair Use

Director Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is lauded as one of the greatest science-fiction films of all time. Plenty would argue it’s one of the greatest films ever made. And if you haven’t seen it you’re in luck, because you can now watch the entire movie online for free. The only catch is, you have to watch it as a series of GIFs. One digital producer Jean-Baptiste Henri Franck Cyrille Marie Le Divelec, better known as JB, has posted the entirety of the film online as 569 GIFs, fittingly dubbing the project 2001: A GIF Odyssey. JB envisioned the project as a test of the fair use doctrine, pushing its limits in the digital space. Fair use legally permits the use of copyrighted materials without the owner’s permission, provided that use is fair and reasonable. And while GIFs currently fall under fair use, JB’s project tests whether or not fair use should really extend to the format. It’s an interesting experiment, especially considering the most commonly used GIFs online are ripped images and clips from film and television. While JB has already ripped the entirety of the film, he isn’t done just yet. The producer hopes to embed his GIFs on their own website, complete with the film’s iconic score.

What do you think of the project? Does it fall under fair use? Or is JB stealing Kubrick’s work? Let us know in the comments. And for more videos on film, the arts, and culture, be sure to visit OvationTV on YouTube.