July 11, 2006

Fair Use or not Fair Use?

A recent court ruling outlaws the practice of reselling and/or renting "clean" versions of movies.

I'm sort of ambivalent about the whole "fair use" vs. copyright debate, generally. On the one hand, we all stand on the shoulders of giants,
not mice. And even more, once I buy something, shouldn't I have some rights of consumption? (And how many times can I really be expected to buy Star Wars?)

On the other hand, creators deserve to prosper and profit from the expression of their form, be it art, craft or otherwise.

The particular case in question, though, seems pretty clear: you can't take people's work, change it, and resell it. That's seems to clearly cross ethical and legal boundaries.

It get much murkier when you're not talking about reselling, but modifying your OWN copy of some asset, or even overlaying (in realtime) the edit-streams necessary to "clean" up a movie, as
Clearplay does. That seems legit, again both ethically and legally - its fair use.

I guess I'd feel better if, at heart, this was actually a debate about creators and the nurturing of arts and sciences, and less so about the
corporate dollar squeeze.


0 said...

can the "moviemakers" ask for 3rd parties to clean up the movies for sale abroad or even for regional distribution? if they are solicited to do so I don't see the problem. if they clean it on their own accord for profit and redistribution it does compromise artistic integrity and violate copyright laws.

similar to taking music and remixing it without permissions - or doing karaoke numbers on U Tube to pop songs. isn't this copyright rather than fair use if its distributed for profit?

Anonymous said...

What happened to innovation vs invention?

deepsat said...

"fair use"?? well, kids do that, sometimes! but now a days, when the competition is stiff and big bucks roll for anything, "fair use" is an ignorant term!!

Anonymous said...

You will buy Star Wars each and every time Lucas says you will. And you will enjoy it. :-)

Sree Kotay said...

roopa - interesting point, but ultimately, it seems like the key issue who gets to make the choice to adbridge the content; and doesn't that seem like it belongs to the content owner?

Nobody's forcing anyone to buy it if they don't like it...

Anonymouse - yeah, I know.