Oh boy, a debate over copyright and fair use in the NY Times bits blog (here) between Rick Cotton, the general counsel at NBC and Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School.
RC: Fair use in the digital age is the same as fair use in the non-digital age. The fact that digital tools make it easier to use other people’s work doesn’t affect the analysis of whether that use is fair. Generally speaking, if you are making fun of, criticizing or commenting on a work (and not just reproducing or copying it), courts have found that you can use the work only to the degree necessary to make your point about that work.
[...] fair use is not a “right,” a misconception and misstatement frequently made these days. Rather it is an exception to the copyright owners’ exclusive rights to determine how their expression is used in new works.
TW: …it is time to recognize a simpler principle for fair use: work that adds to the value of the original, as opposed to substituting for the original, is fair use.
[...] We must never forget that copyright is about authorship; and secondary authors, while never as famous as the original authors, deserve some respect.
Here’s what I think, all these people, who wish for copyright reform, so they can practice their “art” will be begging for forgiveness when all the corporations get tired of trying to protect the works they paid to create and instead decide to step into the online world and stomp the living shit out of everyone by employing thousands of salaried creative people to repurpose every uncopyrighted piece of material into some entirely forgettable eyeball splitting video.
It’s beyond my comprehension why people wouldn’t want original material they created protected under copyright law. Maybe readers can show me a reuse of someone’s work that adds value to this planet?