May 07, 2007
Fair Use story on NPR
National Public Radio this morning had a story about the Stanford Fair Use Project, which assists authors and other artists in using the Fair Use provision of the U.S. Copyright Law. In recent years the concept of fair use, which allows scholars and artists to quote passages from copyrighted works for the purpose of criticism and parody (among other reasons), has been eroded by ever more aggressive publishers who are demanding royalty payment for even small uses of their copyrighted material. This has had a chilling effect on many artistic endeavors, but especially in the area of documentary film, in which clearing the rights for use of clips has become so onerous that filmmakers are just not touching some subjects, even when their planned use of material is clearly within the bounds of fair use.
The NPR story is a good background about the issues involved. As one lawyer put it to me, "If you don't exercise your fair use rights, they will wither away."
Posted by tdr at May 7, 2007 09:42 AM