The Copyright War escalates

People who own copyrights will pay politicians large amounts of money to assert that a copyright covers every possible use for all eternity – as opposed to just protecting an author’s work from being copied for a “limited time”

A federal Appeals Court just stuck it to the RIAA and MPAA
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/15/business/media/youtube-dancing-baby-copyright-ruling-sets-fair-use-guideline.html?_r=0

Google, Twitter and Tumbler supported the lawsuit backed by the Electronic Freedom Foundation. This decision – if it stands – changes the DMCA’s implementation to put the responsibility on the copyright owner to disprove Fair Use.

Today, if you put something on YouTube that has copyrighted content (Let’s say your child is wearing Mickey Mouse ears you bought at Disneyland), YouTube and similar companies are required to immediately remove the content upon receipt of a “takedown notice”, and then it is up to the poster to fight in court to prove that the use of copyrighted material (in this case, a baby dancing to a Prince music tune) was Fair Use, and not a merely “copy” of the original work. This ruling requires the copyright holder to evaluate the work against the fair use doctrine before sending a takedown notice, or set themselves up for damages for ignoring a valid Fair Use defenses.

This will ripple into radio – you’re probably aware Art Bell had trouble getting his show going because he would be sued for playing short clips of music coming out of breaks. It is still an open question whether he can assert fair use, but the pendulum may be swinging away from infinite protection of the Copyright asset trading industry – which has nothing to do with protecting the original “authors” for a limited time.

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