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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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