A Fair(y) Use Tale

March 25, 2008 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new
If I take a screenshot of your program or your web site and include it in a DesignGeek story (assuming I get around to doing an HTML version of this thing), without getting your permission first, can you sue me for copyright infringement?

Why, yes you can. People can sue for anything. But would you win, is the real question.

That comes down to "fair use." What can you do with other people's content without getting their permission first? Many people believe that there is a law somewhere defining this, a law that lays out the parameters of fair use … "it's okay if it's for educational or non-profit use," or "as long as the excerpt you quote is less than a paragraph long and is properly attributed, then it's fine" and so on. Not true … the concept is recognized by the courts, but there are no hard and fast rules about it, as far as I know.

The Media Education Foundation put together a wonderful video primer on copyright law and the concept of Fair Use. How could a legal primer be "wonderful?" Because every word uttered is a clip from a Disney movie! Oh, the irony.

A Fair(y) Use Tale
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo

Makes me want to go out and rent The Little Mermaid again ….

To learn more about what the Media Education Foundation actually does, visit their web site:

Media Education Foundation
http://www.mediaed.org/

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