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Fair use and the US Copyright Office

October 28, 2009

While looking one again for the very useful summary of fair use provided by the US Copyright Office, it occurred to me again that their homepage has no link to this document. There is also no link to the document in their FAQ. Given how much some (most?) publishers loathe fair use and seek any way possible to undermine it, I cannot help but see this omission as anything other than the result of industry pressure to hide the doctrine of fair use from the public. Surely it is not a coincidence, given that when one googles for “fair use” the Copyright Office page comes up in second position right behind Wikipedia. If one googles for “copyright reproduction,” it gets top billing. Clearly it is an oft-consulted and -cited page, which makes its absence all the more conspicuous.

If this bothers you, too, then ask the Copyright Office to add a link. Also, consider getting the word out via tweets, blogs, etc.

  1. Jason Maseberg-Tomlinson permalink
    October 28, 2009 16:03

    Excellent point. More classics are also entering the open realm and their control of literature is waning.

  2. Dale permalink*
    October 29, 2009 10:51

    Thanks for the comment, Jason. Do you mean the control of publishers over some of the seminal works of literature? As in, they are pushing back as they lose the ability to exercise a monopoly on some of their cash cows?

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