Samuelson and Lessig's Free Culture talks: why copyright needs fixing and how to do it


10 Responses to “Samuelson and Lessig's Free Culture talks: why copyright needs fixing and how to do it”

  1. studmoose says:


    I searched as you suggested. states “Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research…. The distinction between “fair use” and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission…. The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material.”

    That being said, should I set the blog up as a new blog, a parody blog or comment/critique blog?

    The PeaPod Tent listing above this posting links to Amazon. Would permission be required for that picture or is it a news / comment item?
    Granted Amazon is trying to sell some stuff and would like the advertising, but this seems to be a semi-income generating site and that raises the “Commercial use” issue? Or, as you say, “it gives the company more coverage.”

    Wow! This seems like one giant landmine that one could step on.

  2. sabik says:

    The other interesting option is to multiply those 83 acts of plausible infringement by the minimum possible punishment. That would be $750 each, for a total of $62,250.

    That’s a decent annual wage.

  3. airshowfan says:


    Google “fair use”, or at least read the Wikipedia article. (That’s a capital G in “Google” to prevent trademark dilution ;] ). Fair Use may not be 100% clear, but it gives you tools to figure out when it’s ok to use someone else’s copyrighted works in limited ways.

    Try to use stuff with Creative Commons licenses. Those allow anyone to use the content as long as certain conditions are made (such as saying who created it, not using it for commercial gain… A website with ads is ok, generally, even if it is somewhat for-profit). There are search engines out there that index CC-licensed stuff. Much of Flickr is CC-licensed. Etc.

    Remember that the DMCA says that when a website hosts content that violates someone’s IP rights, that someone can demand that the website (i.e. you) take down the content within 24h, and if you do take it down, you’re not liable. (This of course leads to the use of bogus DMCA takedown notices as a form of censorship, but that’s another story).

    And when companies release text and images as press releases, and/or say that certain copyrighted content may be used by the press when discussing the thing in question, I don’t think bloggers get in trouble for using that stuff, since it gives the company more coverage.

  4. Pantograph says:

    “you end up with 4.5 billion dollars in potential statutory damages for an average day of your life, and that’s only one person. “

    If only we could make those freeloaders pay, that pesky credit crisis would be solved within a week.

  5. airshowfan says:

    I should mention, IANAL (although I have done some IP-related legal research for the lawyers of… a large internet company that starts with a G. A capital G).

    And I meant to say “certain conditions are met” in the CC paragraph.

  6. Mightyfastpig says:

    Can we have a link to John Tehranian’s “Infringement Nation”? Or is is behind JSTOR or another paywall, ironically enough?

  7. zikman says:

    I thought Lessig quit the copyfight and was moving on to politics?

    well, guess he never left

  8. orima says:

    I think he shoul dea onl with politics, the guy is very good at it!

  9. studmoose says:

    I would like to set up a personal blog and post funny articles for friends to see, I’m just worried that if I include picture images I could be held in copyright violation – even if I include the link to the original content site.

    This has a lot of people scared enough not to join the blogging community. Every site seems to have different rules about what can be shared and how. It seems so confusing.

    How do others get by with this? Do they need to get permission from every site they post to or are they granted some type of press freedom?

    I haven’t seen any really clear information on this for the layperson to use. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  10. Nelson.C says:

    You think copyfight isn’t a political issue?

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