Freedom over convenience
Posted Oct 4, 2006 14:49 UTC (Wed) by sepreece
In reply to: Freedom over convenience
Parent article: Busy busy busybox
The symmetry is pretty straightforward. The GPL says "you may redistribute so long as you meet these conditions." Movie and music producers say to their distributors "you may redistribute our content so long as you meet these conditions".
I'm certainly not saying that the content owners are nourishing creativity and progress by restricting their content, just that what they are doing appears to be within the rights granted them by copyright. For that matter, I have reservations about the GPL on the same point.
As to fair use, it's a very slippery concept. There's never been a hard definition that allows you to know exactly what use is fair use. In any case, fair use limits the owner's ability to sue you for certain uses of hte material, it doesn't require that the content owner make it easy to make fair use of the material.
For instance, a reporter clearly has a right to quote from a public speech, but there is no requirement that the speaker provide even a written transcript, let alone an electronic transcript or recording. Similarly, the fair-use right to quote from a movie for a review doesn't require that the owners provide clips, either on request or by capture from a playback device; it just means you're not infringing if you use clips in a review [note,however, that if you got those clips by circumventing DRM, as opposed to by videotaping a playback, you may still be violating the DMCA].
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