One of the many issues that came up at Blog Potomac last Friday was that of fair use and copyright. Both from the point of view of the communication professional and also from the point of view of the creators of content.
It couldn't have come at a better time as his very issue is being debated between bloggers and the Associated Press right now. There is a fantastic article in the New York Times written by Saul Hansell that lays out the APs concerns and also covers the bloggers reaction to those concerns.
And what about from bloggers perspective? For instance, what do you do if a company starts to scrape the content from an entire community, how do you fight back? One blogger did it this way.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a free legal guide for bloggers. It was mentioned during my presentation by Shana Glickfield, Director, Strategic Communications for Amplify Public Affairs, the token lawyer in the audience, and also the author of the blog, The DC Concierge.
Shana also reminds us of the four factors that a court will consider in determining whether or not a particular use is fair (Section 107):
- the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
- the nature of the copyrighted work;
- amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
- the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
You can get all of the links to the case studies that we discussed in my ethics presentation at del.icio.us/kamichat/ethics.