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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Major Expansion of Fair Use

Victory for Users: Librarian of Congress Renews and Expands Protections for Fair Uses

Parker Higgins, Mitch Stoltz, Kit Walsh and Croynne McSherry | October 27, 2015

The new rules for exemptions to copyright's DRM-circumvention laws were issued today, and the Librarian of Congress has granted much of what EFF asked for over the course of months of extensive briefs and hearings. The exemptions we requested—ripping DVDs and Blurays for making fair use remixes and analysis; preserving video games and running multiplayer servers after publishers have abandoned them; jailbreaking cell phones, tablets, and other portable computing devices to run third party software; and security research and modification and repairs on cars—have each been accepted, subject to some important caveats.

Fair Use Is Not An Exception to Copyright, It’s Essential to Copyright
Over the past two years, as talk of copyright reform has escalated, we’ve also heard complaints about the supposed expansion of fair use, or "fair use creep.” That kind of talk woefully misunderstands how fair use works.
Fair use provides breathing space in copyright law, making sure that control of the right to copy and distribute doesn’t become control of the right to create and innovate. New technologies and services depend on the creation of multiple copies as a matter of course. At the same time, copyright terms cover works many decades old and copyrighted software appears in more and more devices. Taken together, these developments mean the potential reach of copyright may extend ever further. Fair use makes sure that the rights of the public expand at the same time, so add-on creativity and innovation can continue to thrive. In other words, “fair use creep” is an essential corollary to “copyright creep.”

<more at; related links: (2015 DMCA Rulemaking. Library of Congress 2015 DMCA 1201 Rules. October 28, 2015) and (Fair Use Is Not An Exception to Copyright, It’s Essential to Copyright. January 21, 2015)>

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