Monday, May 21, 2007

Copyright, Fair Use, Disney and the NYTimes

Boy, what a weekend for copyright often do you get to say that with a straight face? On vacation, I read this editorial in the NYTimes on extending copyright forever, and I couldn't believe they would publish something so ridiculous. The argument, essentially that creators should get a perpetual copyright (that's right, forever) was so beyond ridiculous that I didn't know where to begin. Luckily, before my flight landed Sunday night, Larry Lessig had already started a wiki-based response to the article, so I can let the experts hash this out.

Bottom line - it's worth reading the original article, because he makes some points that to the uninitiated in these areas (um, most of us), could seem reasonable. I mean, at first glance, it could seem reasonable to consider intellectual property to be the same as physical property - but there's a reason this isn't the case, and it's worth checking out the wiki-response for the reasons - if you have the slightest interest in copyright issues.

But, the real reason for this post is to push you to watch this great new video from Stanford on copyright, fair use and Disney...using clips from Disney films to illustrate the point. Beautiful work, since Disney has essentially been the main push behind our copyright laws being so erroneous. Great video.

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