HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.
HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.

Just Because Something Is Used For Profit, It Can Still Be Fair Use

from the so-the-court-says dept

When it comes to copyright, content owners all too often believe it gives them a lot more control than it really does. For example, there's a belief that no one can ever use the content under "fair use" rules if it's for a commercial for-profit venture. One of the issues with fair use (which some in the entertainment industry continue to pretend doesn't exist) is that people often misread the four tests of fair use to believe that any commercial usage is not covered by fair use. Larry Lessig is pointing to an Appeals Court ruling highlighting why this isn't always the case. In the specific case, the Bill Graham Archives sued a book publisher for publishing a book about the Grateful Dead, using images of concert posters that were owned by the Archives. While the pictures are clearly being used for a commercial work, the court found that it was fair use. Specifically, they note that since the images are small and used within the context of descriptions about the history of the band, it's fine for fair use. It seems like a reasonable decision -- but could worry some copyright holders who freak out any time anyone uses their works in any way.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Tyshaun, 19 May 2006 @ 5:44am

    this isn't as easy as you make it out to be...

    If I had ownership of a substantial amount of content, I would fight whoever uses it without permission/compensation. How is this any diffferent than someone who owns a rental company or hotel? By your logic it might be OK for someone to just come up and borrow a car for a couple of hours or stay in a room, without paying, because its fair use.

    Like it or not, most of the population still subscribes, for the most part, to the theory that if someone has ownership of content, they should be compensated for its use. I think about people like Michael Jackson who purchased The Beatles portfolio. I'm sure he didnt purchase it just because he likes the music, it was a money making venture.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.