We live in a remix culture. Open source, user-generated content and its reuse, etc. But overly broad enforcement of copyright threatens to stifle the next generation of creativity and innovation, a new report from the Center and American University's Washington College of Law finds.
The study, entitled "Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video," details how such video reuse fits into the Fair Use doctrine. NBC Universal and other copyright holders, however, are determined to reinterpret the law and this doctrine to the detriment of culture. Our remix culture. (Same as it ever was.)The courts tell us that fair use should be "transformative"--adding value to what they take and using it for a purpose different from the original work. So when makers mash up several works--say, The Ten Commandments , Ben-Hur and 10 Things I Hate about You , making Ten Things I Hate about Commandments--they aren't necessarily stealing. They are quoting in order to make a new commentary on popular culture, and creating a new piece of popular culture.
Big deal, you say? Consider the alternative.… Read more
On Sunday, the Washington Post published a story which suggested the RIAA is expanding its copyright-infringement lawsuits against end-users to encompass files ripped from an audio CD to a user's hard drive. In other words, most of the files on the 100+million iPods sold, not to mention the countless files on computer hard drives and other devices. A lot of readers took the story at face value, and expressed dismay that the RIAA would target such copying for personal use. Isn't that fair use?
Yahoo China lost another round in a legal battle as a court in Beijing upheld a ruling that the company is infringing on copyright laws by allowing pirated music to be downloaded, according to the industry group suing Yahoo China.
"The ruling against Yahoo China is extremely significant in clarifying copyright rules for Internet music services in China," John Kennedy, chairman and CEO of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries, or IFPI, said in a statement Thursday. "By confirming that Yahoo China's service violates copyright under new Chinese laws, the Beijing court has effectively set the … Read more
Sick of getting your content ripped off online? A start-up called Scribd can automatically block the uploading of copyrighted content to its site, which people use for publishing e-books, documents, and other stuff.
Basically, if text matches content that has been supplied by copyright holders working with Scribd's Qualified Publisher Program, then the upload of the item will automatically be blocked.
That's good news for content creators who typically have to go through the lengthy process of sending Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices to sites to get their copyrighted material removed.
In its effort to stop video … Read more
It wasn't Lane Hartwell's first heated exchange over a photo copyright issue, but a tussle involving a witty YouTube video probably was the one with the highest profile for the professional photographer.
Last week, a not-for-profit San Francisco singing group called the Richter Scales posted a Web 2.0-mocking video, Here Comes Another Bubble, set to the tune of Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire. One of the many photos that flashed by in the video was one Hartwell took of Valleywag's Owen Thomas.
The problem: Although Hartwell had posted the image publicly at … Read more