Friday, August 1, 2008

In which a fair use advocate tweets "Put me in, coach"

Jeremiah Owyang recently wrote a post about a Nokia N810 giveaway contest. The post included, with attribution, a picture from khedara's Flickr photostream. It also included a quote from a message that Andrew Finkle sent to Jeremiah Owyang in connection with the contest.

TechWinter had some comments on Owyang's contest, including quotes from Owyang and Finkle. In fact, Roger Kondrat said...

...well, I can't tell you what Roger Kondrat said.

Why? Because I didn't originally read this post at the TechWinter blog, but in my Google Reader shared feeds (not sure who shared it). And when I read it in the feeds, it included a notice that said...

...well, I can't tell you what the notice said. But I guess I can paraphrase. The notice stated that it would be a copyright breach to use the feed on other websites, emphasizing this by saying that if you are reading the information at a place other than your news reader, copyright infringement is taking place.

The U.S. Copyright Office has stated the following about fair use:
Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

  3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
Read the rest here.

Perhaps I'm being overly paranoid. Perhaps TechWinter is simply worried about someone appropriating the entire post; heaven knows that's happened to me a time or two.

And TechWinter doesn't necessarily want to stifle the conversation. It uses Disqus for comments, and the post itself is referenced on FriendFeed.

Because of the RSSmeme experience, and the whole AP thing, my paranoia about this has extended to my lastfmfeeds room. Here's what I said on June 23:

I've decided to do this as opt-in only, rather than just grabbing feeds on my own. Why? Because of Benjamin Golub's RSSmeme experience. So it's probably best to check before I grab someone's feed for FriendFeed commenting fun.

Yesterday, I stated my rule for adding feeds to the room:

[M]y usual policy (don't know how the other admins feel) is to only add feeds that people actually own, rather than adding third party feeds without the owner's consent. If people think I'm being too strict about this, we can discuss.

Now I realize that in this post, I have extensively quoted from myself. Well, you can't get in trouble for referencing yourself, can you? Well, if you run through the jungle with the old man down the road, you can get yourself in some hot water.

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