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May 14, 2004
Fair Use - Theory v. Practice
Larry Lessig in the last session of the day on Friday here @ ILAW, echoing portions of his testimony on
Tuesday Wednesday before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in support of the DMCRA:
The point I've been trying to push about fair use, is that it's only a free as lawyers say it is. The fair use doctrine an extremely complicated doctrine. Lawyers advise extremely conservative behavior. [Richard] Posner and I had an argument about this. In my book I discussed how a clip from The Simpsons could be worth $10,000.
Posner said, "But this is clearly fair use." I said, "Stop talking about this as theory; go and see how it really works." To his credit, he did. Then he wrote this terrrific piece about how lawyers are shaping a very narrow view of fair use.
To my view, we waste far too much energy lionizing fair use when it doesn't do us much good.
Extra: My previous post on the DMCRA hearings
; ILAW uber-blogger Frank Field's comprehensive collection
of weblog notes & commentary from the conference.
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