A number of weeks ago, the RLG scored a major fair use victory in Righthaven v. Hoehn. In that case, we argued that even using an entire editorial could be fair use as long as the fair user made a transformative use of the original. The Court agreed.
The issue of whether an entire work can be taken as fair use raised some controversy. The almost-always-awesome Ken Paulson doesn’t seem to get it, reading too much into the opinion’s dissection of the editorial in that case. But, it really is rather simple. The bargain we make with copyright owners is this: Creators of content get a monopoly over the commercial exploitation of their works. In exchange, we all get to engage in creative or transformative expression using those works, as long as we don’t go too far.
Withiout fair use, we don’t get this awesomeness — which uses the entirety of the original musical work. Would you want to live in a country where the video below is illegal? Creators have the right to profit from their works, but the rest of us get a right to free expression without having to hire a lawyer every time we want to use something that someone else made. Fair use. Learn it. Love it.
Cuz Fair Use be gangsta as a muthafucka.
Because this is what happens when awesomeness meets assholes who don’t understand fair use.