We live in a remix culture. Open source, user-generated content and its reuse, etc. But overly broad enforcement of copyright threatens to stifle the next generation of creativity and innovation, a new report from the Center and American University's Washington College of Law finds.
The study, entitled "Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video," details how such video reuse fits into the Fair Use doctrine. NBC Universal and other copyright holders, however, are determined to reinterpret the law and this doctrine to the detriment of culture. Our remix culture. (Same as it ever was.)
The courts tell us that fair use should be "transformative"--adding value to what they take and using it for a purpose different from the original work. So when makers mash up several works--say, The Ten Commandments , Ben-Hur and 10 Things I Hate about You , making Ten Things I Hate about Commandments--they aren't necessarily stealing. They are quoting in order to make a new commentary on popular culture, and creating a new piece of popular culture.
Big deal, you say? Consider the alternative.… Read more