Intellectual Property Fair Use For Me, But Not For Thee

Above the Law – Fair use is for everyone and benefits rightholders just as it benefits consumers. “A common misconception about fair use in copyright law is that it is relied upon solely by consumers. The reality, however, is that everyone uses fair use, including large rightholders like movie studios and publishers. Even while rightholders are often seen as advocates for strong intellectual property rights, even while they oppose fair use when bringing a lawsuit themselves, they are not shy in asserting their own right to fair use…” While publishers took a dim view of fair use when libraries were creating own searchable database (and providing accessible copies for people who are blind or print disabled), they raised fair use as a defense in the creation of a publisher-owned database. In White v. West Publishing (litigation that happened at the same time as HathiTrust), two attorneys — Edward White and Kenneth Elan — claimed copyright…

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