UK Music Lobbyist Says Rethinking Fair Use Is 'Intellectual Masturbation'
from the who-needs-fair-use? dept
We’ve talked a few times about how the UK is going through yet another copyright rethink with a key focus (among others) on whether or not the country needs more expansive fair use rules within copyright. While we’ve seen similar discussions happen (and be ignored) in the UK, the good news is that the panel investigating this issue seems to include some really knowledgeable folks on the subject. Of course, it appears that some of the established interests aren’t so thrilled about all of this.
Andrew Dubber kindly sent over an article from Music Week, which is locked up behind a paywall, or I’d point you to it, in which various music industry folks fret about this awful concept of fair use. The article seems to be based on the ridiculous premise that “fair use” is something that only harms creative folks, and is only designed to help tech firms. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, and it’s troubling that these supposed “music industry” experts don’t realize just how important fair use is in content creation itself. The article quotes a person from PPL insisting that supporting fair use is a straight up choice between “helping Google or helping our creative industries.” That someone in the content creation business is against fair use is a travesty, and it suggests that they know very little about content creation. Furthermore, the idea that this is an “us against them” sort of thing is equally troubling. The point of fair use is to make content creation itself better and to provide more value to the world.
But the most ridiculous comments of all come from UK Music chief Feargal Sharkey, who has a way with saying silly things. According Sharkey, rethinking fair use is “a distraction at best” and really just an “exercise in intellectual masturbation.” I’m sorry, but if Sharkey thinks fair use is just about “intellectual masturbation,” he should not be leading an organization representing musicians. Fair use is incredibly important to all sorts of content creators, and it’s a shame that the guy who’s supposed to be representing them is now forcefully arguing against fair use. It should make the members of UK Music seriously consider who they’ve picked to speak for them.