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Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: A very silly report on “fair use”

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: A very silly report on “fair use”:

“There’s a little problem, though. Even by the woeful standards of the bespoke research industry, this study is a crock. It’s not just bad; it’s absurd.

What the authors have done is to define the ‘fair-use economy’ so broadly that it encompasses any business with even the most tangential relationship to the free use of copyrighted materials. Here’s an example of the tortured logic by which they force-fit vast, multifaceted industries into the ‘fair use’ category: Because ‘recent advances in processing speed and software functionality are being used to take advantage of the richer multi-media experience now available from the web,’ then the entire ‘computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing industry’ qualifies as a ‘fair-use industry.’ As does the entire ‘audio & video equipment manufacturing’ business. And the entire software publishing industry. And the entire telecommunications industry. And – hey, why not? – the entire insurance industry. Stock markets and commodity exchanges? Sure, throw them in, too.”

What is it about debates that means that, so often, both sides think it’s OK just to talk shit and hope no one notices on the grounds that “he did it first”?

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