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Google’s copyright cartoon

Google’s educational copyright cartoon is amusing in a Ren and Stimpy sort of way

But it’s disturbing that the cartoon purposefully makes the Fair Use “explanation” unintelligible. Presumably that’s because Fair Use is so complex and so difficult to defend that Google doesn’t even want to raise it as a possibility. Nevertheless, it seems like a missed opportunity to do some education. Worse, it’s a sign that we’ve pretty much given up on Fair Use.

Likewise, many of us were disappointed when Google Books dropped its Fair Use defense and instead came up with a settlement (since overturned) with the authors and publishers. It was another lost opportunity to provide Fair Use with some clarity and oomph.

Fair Use doesn’t need just a posse (Lord bless it). It could use a bigtime hero with some guts.

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4 Responses to “Google’s copyright cartoon”

  1. Where’s the cartoon that they show to senders of bogus takedown requests? Maybe that’s the one that gets the detailed explanation of Fair Use.

  2. It’s more likely Google’s ‘infringement detection’ algorithm is completely unable to cope with ‘fair use’ (which is still actually infringement, just defensible) because of its subjective nature – and so Google would rather people not think there is such a thing because it’s algorithms don’t cater for it, and it just ends up causing grief.

    YouTube’s auto-censorship feature is actually damage and the copyright pirates will route around it in due course.

    Anyway, forget fair use, what the people need is their cultural liberty back – and that means abolishing copyright.

  3. Google doesn’t want to say much about “fair use” for a very good reason: it doesn’t want anyone to think that copyright law is reasonable. That way, it can continue to lobby for the abrogation of creators’ rights.

  4. Brett, the abrogation of rights is an extremely important issue in these times. I’ve written recently on this matter here: 18th Century Overture.

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