No. If the image in the meme is owned by someone else (Movies, TV shows, Video games) then you should get the author’s permission or have to pay them for the use.
Ok, but what about parody? Parody only works if you are making fun of the original piece of art. If you are using a video game meme to talk about how you hate Monday, then that is not a parody. It is a parody if you critique the original work of art or make commentary on it. Making fun of the art is a parody. Using the art to talk about another topic is not a parody.
Ok, what about fair use? Parody is one type of fair use, and like a parody you should comment or critique the original piece of art. Another guideline of fair use is only using the relevant piece of art and only if it moves an idea forward. For documentaries for example if you talked about gorillas in movies you couldn’t show half of King Kong you could only show a few minutes at most, only the relevant parts of it that you are talking about and only when you are talking about it.
Most memes are not copyright free, you need permission or pay the authors of the art you are using. Gorilla meme was created so you can follow copyright laws and still express yourself with memes.
Gorilla Meme is a website that you can create memes for free. The memes you create you can do what ever you want with because the content is licensed as C0 or similar (Check out our About page for more details)
Can you have Copyright Free Memes?
Almost getting truly copyright free images is hard to do and/or verify. The Gorilla Meme Generator uses C0 content, which is basically the same thing. Once a meme is created out of the image you can use it for commercial or non-commercial use. The memes could then be remixed or altered.
Aren’t memes already copyright? Or couldn’t I use them because of parody or fair use?
No. Most memes take the image from a movie, TV show, or video game. The creator of those original works of art owns that image. Lets say you have a still image from the TV show Friends. That image even if you make it a meme is still owned by the creators of Friends. They are entitled to compensation for the usage of that image. Or what could happen is they then own the copyright of your meme.
Why do copyright free memes or C0 memes matter?
With new laws are being considered that would require platforms from filtering out content that has copyrighted material. The European Union is considering or voting on such a law. If this idea becomes laws then likely Memes would be instantly removed from platforms such as Facebook and Youtube. However copyright free memes or C0 memes would stay.