EFF Wants To Tack 'Fair Use Principles' Onto Studios' Content Guidelines

from the things-that-will-go-over-like-a-lead-balloon dept

Last week, we wrote about how the big studios, along with some smaller user-generated content sites had put together a bunch of meaningless guidelines for how “user generated content” sites should deal with content that might be unauthorized. The backers of the guidelines insisted that any site that followed the guidelines wouldn’t then get sued over copyright issues. Of course, it seemed a little silly because agreeing to the principles meant giving up the right to do things that were perfectly legal and that a company might find reasonable to grow their business. It also wasn’t a particular balanced document, since it only gave lip service to “fair use.” Apparently to compensate for that, the EFF has come out with its own Fair Use Principles for user-generated content sites that will surely be almost entirely ignored by the studios. While it does help the EFF make the point that fair use is important, but neglected, in the original, it’s unlikely that too many people will notice or care. The studios aren’t interested in anything fair here. Note how ironic it is that a set of principles for a user-generated content site wasn’t developed in the open at all, but passed down as if on stone tablets. This isn’t about a balanced document, it’s about tilting the table in the studios’ favor.

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Companies: eff

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Comments on “EFF Wants To Tack 'Fair Use Principles' Onto Studios' Content Guidelines”

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zcat says:

The original bargain of copyright was to encourage the creation of content which was then available for other people to use. “Fair use” meant reusing that content in was way that wasn’t just wholesale copying for commercial gain. Add anything of reasonable value, and you could claim you were making “fair use” of the material. Or you could just wait 14 years and it would be completely free to everyone.

“Digital Rights Management” attempts to take away the public’s right of fair use and eventual public domain, so I see no reason for the government to uphold their part of the agreement. Give publishers a choice; they can make the content available unrestricted, and have the legal protection of ‘copyright’, or they can attempt to apply their own digital means of protection and forgo the ‘copyright’ agreement altogether. But I don’t think they should get both.

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