Friday, February 28, 2014

Copyright and fair use

Publishing Perspectives has a piece by Adelaide bookseller Simon Collinson on proposed changes to Australian copyright law, specifically about “fair use”.  He claims that Australians’ disrespect for copyright is “arguably the most intense in the world” but he would say that, wouldn’t he. Typical Aussie, bigging themselves up. Everybody knows that New Zealand is the real champion here.

He compares and contrasts US and Australian law, and is good on the balancing act required between the interests of users and owners of copyright material. Quote unquote:
There is a parallel debate about whether making ‘transformative’ but fair uses of copyrighted works – such as Google Book Search – should be open to all, or just copyright holders. While transformative products based on publishers’ property, like Google Book Search, have the potential to increase discovery of backlist titles, many publishers see them as intrusions on their right to exploit their copyright. As the Australian Publishers’ Association pointed out in its submission to the ALRC review (PDF), discussion of ‘text mining’ and other transformative uses of copyrighted property tends to suggest that the works involved are somehow just a passive or natural resource – raw materials – from which others (including large, privately owned for-profit corporations) may extract value without sharing that value.
So here (fair use?) are the Moody Blues in 1970 on The Lulu Special performing live the new single “Question” from their album A Question of Balance. Yes, television was like that then:

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