Saturday, May 14, 2011

A "Fair Use" shot across the bow

The folks at Racialicious have heard from New York magazine over a recent (May 13) post that quotes from an article on Asian Americans. My guess is they are discussing the amount of the article that is quoted vs. the amount of new commentary from the Racialicious blogger. I don't think the magazine is trying to shut down discussion of the subject matter itself, in this particular case.

Those of us who largely blog in "reactive" mode, citing the news of the day, should take note of the proceedings. According to the U.S. Copyright Office, there are four tests for fair use and a body of case law. There is no simple, hard and fast rule that applies to everyone all the time. We are concerned in academia as well as in the everyday world of sharing.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) didn't help. The waters have been further muddied over the past several years as certain outlets (e.g. major networks like MSNBC; TED...) have actively promoted embedding and in some cases even provided tools to selectively clip/edit their stuff for sharing. New York is old school print and they seem to be reacting to Racialicious from that perspective.

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