was the first of a few of you to send over this article about a Kansas City Star article praising fair use
and talking up how important it is to culture.
Watch tonight’s “Daily Show” and count the number of TV, movie and music clips you see or hear during the episode. Ten? Twenty?
While you’re doing that, note how often Stewart makes fun of the subject of the clip. (If he’s talking about CNN or Fox News Channel, this part will be easy.) Do the same for companion show “The Colbert Report.”
Now, guess how often Stewart and Colbert ask their attorneys to clear the rights to all those copyrighted clips.
America’s most acclaimed satirists turn out to also be our most powerful exploiters of “fair use,” the legal loophole that permits use of copyrighted works without the onerous and often expensive process of rights clearance.
The article is pretty long and detailed (and quotes some of my favorite experts, including Nancy Baym and Patricia Aufderheide -- whose new book, written with Peter Jaszi, called Reclaiming Fair Use
is sitting on my desk -- though I haven't had a chance to read it yet). It does note that fair use is still sometimes a bit hit or miss in the courts, but overall this is a really comprehensive article on the subject. It's just kind of surprising to see it in a big newspaper. Even though fair use is increasingly important to people, it's just not the sort of thing most in the media seemed interested in writing about -- even if they're covering copyright related stories.