Thursday, October 02, 2008

A lesson in the failures of "fair use" (Lessig Blog):

But this whole mess demonstrates clearly, in my view, the need for us to get beyond the "fair use" analysis. This is an amateur remix of popular culture. It should be completely exempt from copyright restrictions. When it gets used commercially (by, say, YouTube), then, in my view, YouTube should be responsible for the work it is profiting from -- through a flat, collective license, for example, either created by law, or negotiated by the parties. But only then should there be a "copyright event." Until it is used commercially in that sense, the creator should be free to (re)create without employing a lawyer to muddle through the mess of complexity fair use law is. The law has no useful function in this context. Or put differently, amateur remix needs to be deregulated.

Instead, of course, the law today has it exactly backwards. It is the creator of this work who is the alleged copyright infringer under current law. And YouTube who is immune from liability so long as it removes the work as soon as it can.

5:38 PM