MIT Press sought to clear one-line excerpts from twelve songs that are quoted in a forthcoming novel. Faced with ten forms that had to filled out before proceeding, one demand of $10,000, and a flat refusal, they decided to hell with it, one-line excerpts are fair goddamned use, and decided to just print 'em
. Lessig points out that risk-averse publishers try to minimize their lawyer-hours by essentially publishing no fair-use material, and MIT's doing the right thing here could very well loosen up some of that fearful tightness.
That is rare in this business. Publishers are among the most conservative “fair users” – not because they don’t believe in free speech, but because they understand the burden of non-free lawyers. If a lawsuit is filed against a publisher for copyright infringement, the cost of answering the complaint can suck up the total profit from the book. Thus, however generous the Supreme Court thinks it is when it defends “fair use,” the relevant “fair use” is the freedom publishers permit.
It is a great thing that publishers like MIT can help set the standard. The law should make it easier for others to do the same.
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
We just got the Sport model of the EPIKGO hoverboard at my office. Besides being terribly chic, it’s apparently bulletproof.
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]
The forced transition from analog to digital TV signals was probably met with relative indifference from people with Netflix subscriptions and the “I don’t even own a TV” snoots. But anyone living in the vast swaths of the country that don’t have guaranteed high-speed internet, broadcast TV is a perfectly valid (and 100% free) way […]
When Apple revealed the new MacBook in 2016, one of the biggest issues raised with the notebook’s new design (aside from ire over the slew of new adapters you’d inevitably have to buy) was the removal of one of its most beloved proprietary features, the magnetic charging cable. Thankfully, third-party peripheral makers have taken up […]