Wednesday, May 13, 2009

All's Fair Under Fair Use?;, 5/13/09

Via; All's Fair Under Fair Use?: A nebulous legal doctrine collides with collapsing ad revenues and explosive growth in digital news:

"On a late May morning, Srinandan R. Kasi, general counsel for the Associated Press, eyes four clusters of blue dots scattered across his computer screen as if they were a crime scene. Each dot represents a unique URL hosting content carrying a digital fingerprint of an AP-produced story.

Most dots, says Kasi, are infringers--sites who carry AP work without permission, or don't link material back to the AP...

The issue at hand: abuse of "fair use," a nebulous legal doctrine that allows use of copyrighted material without permission from the creators. The AP has been wrangling with Google and other aggregators over its definition for three years.

Now, with a collapsing ad pie and explosive growth in digital news platforms, defining fair use is suddenly critical for media companies from The New York Times and The Washington Post to conglomerates like News Corp. and Time Warner.

Yet for all its importance, it remains a tricky concept courts determine on an agonizing case-by-case basis--making it difficult to determine whether the Next Big Thing on the Web is providing a valuable public service or violating copyright law on a wholesale basis."

No comments: