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Monday, July 07, 2003

DanB at 9:44 PM [url]:

Fair Use Ruling

I found this through Slashdot.org: The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion about Fair Use. The issue was whether a search engine that indexed images from the web and presented them as thumbnails was fair use under copyright law. They decided that it was fair use and allowed under law.

I found a couple of things interesting here: The concept of Fair Use (the right to use copyrighted material without permission in certain cases) is very important to the workings of society and was part of the compromises made when drafting copyright law. Digital Rights Management (DRM) will make fair use harder to be accomplished, even when it's legal. Reading this opinion helps you learn about the concept of Fair Use and see why it can be so at odds with DRM. "Transformative uses" weigh in the favor of allowing use and was key to this case. A transformative use adds "...a further purpose or different character..." rather than "...merely superseded the object of the originals..." (searching vs. pretty pictures in this case). These are the types of uses so hard to take into account with DRM. How do you allow for unforeseen uses?

Read the opinion on the Court's web site.

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