by Mike Masnick
Thu, Nov 1st 2007 2:44pm
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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