Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Fair Use At Risk

from the will-it-survive? dept

Seth Finkelstein writes "The Free Expression Policy Project asks: "Are increasingly heavy assertions of control by copyright and trademark owners smothering fair use and free expression? The product of more than a year of research, [the report by Marjorie Heins and Tricia Beckles] "Will Fair Use Survive"? (Techdirt warning: annoying PDF File) paints a striking picture of an intellectual property system that is perilously out of balance."" Interesting stuff. Really wish they would publish it as straight HTML though, instead of as a PDF file. There are times when a PDF makes sense. This isn't one of them. Anyway, it's become clear that many in the content creation business have started taking the position that fair use doesn't exist and is some sort of "myth" made up by others -- rather than an important element of copyright that is codified in law. This has been going on for years, of course. Jack Valenti used to always deny fair use existed.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Boo, Dec 6th, 2005 @ 3:32am


    Why oh why do people publish stuff online with pdf when html will do? I'm all in favour of protecting material and controling print layout in government doc's and annual reports, or even download versions of printed materials... but it's starting to go a bit mad recently!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Donald, Dec 6th, 2005 @ 5:14am

    Re: pdfs

    I must admit, I don't like opening pdf's online either. Take a look at this link on adobe's site. They will convert a pdf to html for free and allow you to view it online.
    Adobe PDF to HTML Converter

    Here is the converted document from the story above:
    Will Fair Use Survive
    Interesting article...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Chris H, Dec 6th, 2005 @ 5:51am

    No Subject Given

    C'mon guys how can you not like Adobe, the peice of software who's true purpose is to open documents and consume (currently) 116MB of space on my hard drive?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    thirst4knowledge, Dec 6th, 2005 @ 6:12am

    Re: No Subject Given

    PDF isn't owned by Adobe. If you want you can use many other free viewers on linux and windows. Most of them use ghostscript as a backend.
    But, I agree, if you are making a case for "open" and "fair" usability PDF is not the way to go.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Mousky, Dec 6th, 2005 @ 6:26am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Wrong. PDF was invented by Adobe. Next you are going to tell us the PostScript is not owned by Adobe.

    Portable Document Format at Wikipedia

    Adobe PDF

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Tom, Dec 6th, 2005 @ 6:27am

    Re: No Subject Given

    116MB? That's your complaint? Acrobat uses 116MB?

    Please! You waste more than then on temp files when browsing a single web site. That amount is a round off error on today's hundred-of-gigabyte hard disks.

    If 116MB of space on your hard drive is going to be an impact on you, spend $40 and increase your drive space by about 100 times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Ceconix, Dec 6th, 2005 @ 6:57am

    Re: pdfs

    See, that's why I use Firefox. There are nifty little features that you can add in. There is this one called PDF Download that lets you decide when you click on the PDF link if it should open as a PDF, save it, or convert it to HTML.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    giafly, Dec 6th, 2005 @ 7:43am

    Re: PDF Download

    NB: PDFDownload does the conversion on a server. Nothing sinister, but this is a potential security risk and it might not work with high security Websites.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Tiresias, Dec 6th, 2005 @ 7:53am

    Re: pdfs

    This document is great AND I am glad they made it available as a PDF. It looks and reads well.
    Give me a PDF of long files optimized for printing over a crappy HTML page any day. It is better for sharing than a directory of HTML pages, when done well as accessible as HTML (when it is done well), and has great features.
    File size complaints are rather lame in an era when people download 6Mb music files and 700 MB AVIs... helper applications? May as well start bitching about Windows Media Player, Flash, Real, and all the others that use their own formats as well.
    Who cares who "owned" a standard. Abobe has made the format an open standard that can be programmed around by anyone without paying a dime to Adobe... which is why it is built into OSX and used by dozens of other applications.
    So maybe we can please spare the diatribe against PDF and get onto talking about the importance of the CONTENT...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    duane, May 19th, 2006 @ 6:53am

    Re: pdfs

    I don't care so much that Adobe Reader takes up space on my harddrive. What I do have a problem with is when it takes up so much memory that my computer slows down to a crawl and then half the time it crashes on me. Otherwise, for offline viewing I actually like pdfs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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