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Re: Fair use defined (was: Re: Stallman Admits to Copyright Infringement)

On Mon, 22 May 2000, Lindsay Haisley wrote:

> Thus spake Thomas Bushnell, BSG on Sun, May 21, 2000 at 11:24:13PM CDT
> > 
> > One interesting precedent I know of.  First, there is precedent that
> > you may make a tape recording of a musical album you own, for personal
> > purposes including reducing wear and tear on the album, more
> > convenient or portable format, and so forth.  I assumes that the
> > freedom to make a personal cassette tape of a vinyl album would extend
> > to making a personal MP3 of a CD.  Personal in the precedent excludes
> > making copies for other people.
> This is called 'fair use'.  I've heard that the DMCA has arguably done away
> with this interpretation of fair use.  Is this so?

Well, the issue is complicated.  To quote 17 USC 1201(c) 

(1) Nothing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or
defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title.

17 USC 1201 is what the DMCA has become.

However, what the MPAA in their litigation in Connecticut and New York
(and also Microsoft in their attack on /.) would like to interpert the
DMCA as is this:

you may only access the works they provide in certain specified ways.  

Normally, this would not be enforcable under copyright law.  However, the
DMCA allows manufacturers to prevent people from bypassing technological
measures that prevent fair use of the materiel.  Thus, fair use is legal,
but technically impossible.  The DMCA does not abolish fair use, however
it allows copyright holders (in these cases, usually not the artists) to
make the sort of access that would make fair use possible criminal. 

Of course, you can still watch a movie on DVD, and then quote lines from
it.  But the 'copy protection system' prevents you from showing excerpts
from that DVD (which would be fair use).  

			     	sam th		     

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