Fair Use in 2008: What it is, what it isn't


The ongoing “he said, she said” debate about copyright over at Bits is more or less what you’d expect: the stuffy lawyer type demonizing anything and everything that doesn’t grant media companies full and unfettered access to sell and re-sell you their junk, and a youngish, cool-looking guy pulling the old “man, what is copyright, man?” song and dance. Other than seeing what each side thinks, it’s a complete waste of your time; no one’s mind will be changed after reading it.

Having said all that, today’s topic, what is and what isn’t fair use, interests me in that I read an entire book about the subject two years ago. (That’s worth the read, no doubt.) Stuffy lawyer type, NBC’s general counsel, seems to think remixing songs isn’t part of fair use, which really puts that Beatport Sasha remixing contest on thin ice. He also hammers the point that illegal P2P isn’t fair use.

Yeah, we know.

Cool guy, on the other hand, is all, “fair use needs to change and is vital to our well-being.”

They will never see eye to eye. In the meantime, I’ll be watching illicitly gotten Conan episodes. Oops!

Bits Debate: Mixing It Up Over Remixes and Fair Use [Bits New York Times Blog]