Professor Uses Copyright Threats After Joke Commercial Uses Some Of His Lecture
from the copyright-insanity dept
So many stories of copyright being abused, so little time... The latest, as sent in by Jon and a few others involves an MIT professor who got upset when he found out that a commercial for a Ricoh copier happened to use a tiny bit of text (2 sentences) from one of his published lectures to set up a joke. You can see the commercial here:
You can see the full lecture, but the quotes in the commercial come from the sixth paragraph. The professor then sent a legalistic letter to the folks who made the commercial, who have agreed to "settle" by donating $5,000 to two science related charities. Once again, though, we're seeing a misuse of copyright law in action -- even if the end result is positive (some extra cash for some science charities). It would seem like a clear case of fair use here, where the use of these lines in the commercial were unlikely to damage the commercial potential of the professor's work. It's yet another case where someone is using copyright to try to control all aspects of his work, when that's not its purpose at all.