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February 1, 2005
The Other FUD
Joe Gratz on the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) created by the FUD (Fair Use Doctrine): "Lessig has been talking lately about how 'fair use is the right to hire a lawyer,' meaning that the application of the Fair Use Doctrine is so unpredictable and uneven that prospective fair users without lawyers can seldom be certain that theyre applying the doctrine properly. Further, even if the user applies the doctrine properly, the analysis is sufficiently fact-intensive and subjective that a copyright holder will generally have a legally cognizable claim against even a legitimate fair user. The fair user will sometimes have to hire a lawyer to defend an infringement suit even if theyve done everything right. Knowing this, even legitimate fair use is likely to be chilled by the risks involved."
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