We recognize that some of the finer points of copyright can be confusing (or are disputed), but some things are pretty clear. Fair use, for example, does exist and cannot be denied by the owner of copyrights (even if they'd like to pretend they can). The latest example of this is pointed out by David Levine, who links to a blog post from legal expert Eugene Volokh ripping apart the claim of an "investigative report" publication who puts "This article is copyright protected and Fair Use is not applicable" at the bottom of all their articles. It also says: "In accordance with Fair Use of Copyright: WE FORBID ANY REPRODUCTION in part or in whole..." As Volokh notes, unfortunately, you can't just make up the law in your favor. Fair use isn't at the whim of the content owner, and it's not in accordance with fair use to deny "any reproduction." Volokh found out about the site from David Giacalone at Harvard's Berkman Center. Giaclone discusses more problems with the legal language the site uses, while noting that it's especially worrisome since the site fights for legal reform. However, the most ridiculous part of the whole thing is that when Giaclone (a retired member of the bar in two areas) points these things out to the editor of the site, she responds by calling him "an ass," saying that the site would be giving him "some publicity" and accusing him of "practicing law without a license," for which the publication's lawyer and the state Attorney General would be alerted. All this for pointing out that their legal disclaimer isn't actually binding? And we wonder why some people have trouble dealing with the finer points of copyright law...
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