It’s day two of fair use week, and I’ve been thinking of some of the court cases that have dealt with fair use. Fair use is for everyone, and there have been some good decisions favoring its application recently. The long running Google books lawsuit was finally settled when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Author Guild’s copyright infringement claim; the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes a more detailed analysis of the case here.
Another important court case highlighting fair use is what’s called the ‘Dancing Baby’ lawsuit. This case is important to all of us; in it fair use was affirmed as a right and not just a defensive position. The court affirmed that copyright holders must consider fair use before issuing take down orders to remove Internet content. Now we can all worry less about having a snippet of music playing in the background when we post a short video to uTube.
For additional information on fair use court cases, check out Stanford’s Summaries of Fair Use Cases.