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"Freedom and Innovation" or "Fair Use" - PPA Today

"Freedom and Innovation" or "Fair Use"


In February, Representative Rick Boucher, (D-9th- VA) introduced HR. 1201, “Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship Act of 2007” to promote the development of new technologies to archive creative works and expand the parameters of “fair use.”

If passed, this bill would make it increasingly difficult to protect your copyright. It would require a copyright owner to demonstrate that a retailer acted under circumstances which no reasonable person could think was lawful in order to recover statutory damages.  For instance, if a retailer had a notice that warned customers against copying copyright-protected images, it is likely the retailer would not be held liable for infringement.

Additionally, a maker or distributor of copyright infringing technology or devices could not be pursued for copyright infringement so long as it was capable of non-infringing uses. For example, a company would not be held liable for creating a technology that allowed photographs to be scanned into an archive, despite the fact that some users will purchase the device to reproduce copyright-protected photographs.

Lastly, the circumvention of technology would be allowed for the purpose of scholarship, comment, or criticism. This act would simply legalize previously established fair-use exemptions already on technology reviews held every three years, as outlined by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). By legalizing some of these exemptions and not others, HR. 1201 adds to the confusion, making it more difficult for consumers to distinguish between legal and illegal acts of infringement. The DMCA itself would hold less weight and consumers may just expect everything to be legal.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Maria Matthews published on March 12, 2007 3:42 PM.

Photography for the 21st Century was the previous entry in this blog.

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