Sunday, July 27, 2008

Copyright infringement?

As someone whose livelihood depends on intellectual property, I have a lot of interest in copyrights and copyright law.

As someone involved in marketing, I am also interested in the phenomenon of "viral" communication, in which someone becomes so excited about a certain creative expression--an article, a photo, a blog post, a video--that they "tell everyone" about it so that its fame soon spreads around the world.

With these potentially competing interests in mind, then, I bumped into the following:

Universal Music claims it should have the right to force people to remove videos such as this . . .

even if the use falls within "fair use" parameters. (What do you think? Was the poster in violation of Universal's copyright on the background music?)

As the article I just referenced notes, fair use is related to such factors as "how much of the original work was used, whether the new use is commercial in nature, whether the market for the original work was harmed, and whether the new work is a parody."

. . . And then . . . the author/editor of The Drudge Retort [note: that's Drudge Retort, not Report!] . . . the author/editor of the Drudge Retort received takedown notices from the Associated Press because he reposted a few sentences and headlines from seven AP articles.
"If there was a court decision that said quoting from a news story without doing a lot of commentary was an infringement, then I think a lot of blogs would have to rethink their business model," said Nancy Mertzel, a New York intellectual property attorney.

Uh. Yeah. I guess so!
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