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David Rolfe's Journal: Comments I've left elsewhere, lately

Journal by David Rolfe

In reference to http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/31/0623246 I posted over on Bob's site:

Mr. Squidoo said in response to Cringley's article:

I certainly do not think that a 3rd party notice from someone other than the copyright holder are grounds for YouTube to remove my clip. Even a notice from Oregon Public Broadcasting would have to be considered an "alleged infringement" claim from a copyright holder.

What's so great about copyright is there isn't any alleged infringement. It works like this: did you distribute some work? Yes. Are you Oregon Public Broadcasting? No. You are infringing. Now you'll probably argue that your case is an example of Fair Use -- but get this -- Fair Use is an affirmative defense. If you claim Fair Use you are affirming "guilt" (copyright infringement) by making the defense. At which point a judge decides against the four point test if your infringement is Fair Use, or not. With copyright you are essentially* infringing until proven Fair Use, i.e., "guilty" until proven "innocent"!

In short, Fair Use isn't a right, it's a defense. Copyright isn't a right either; it is a limited-time** State-granted monopoly on distribution. For more info, check out 17 USC 107 and also http://fairuse.stanford.edu/

*Since you can't be non-infringing without being sued and winning!

**One day short of forever, is inexplicably constitutional to some Supremes. Extention every time new works are about to reach the Public Domain still counts as "for a limited time"; See Article 1.8.8.

And just now I left this over at Moyer's new blog re:'Open source journalism':

"As long as source materials are kept private and as long as the final product is copyrighted, it is incorrect to call something open source. Critiquing an article or emailing a suggestion is not nearly enough to justify the title of "Open-Source Journalism". It actually has to be open source." --DR (above)

I feel like I'm back on Slashdot right now! You are misunderstanding what "open source journalism" is, or claims to be. The swarm of emails, posts, crossposts, hat-tips, comments and cross references that coalesce across the 'net to form a "story" is the phenomenon described as "open source journalism". In this respect bloggers (Josh Marshall included) are both the journalist and the audience in the same fashion that open source coders are both the developer and the end-user. It's the many eyes and the feedback-loop that produce the refined results. The phrase open-source journalism doesn't describe the (absolutely critical) goals of either the FSF or the Creative Commons, though.

It needs to be said, in direct response to the quotation above that both the CC licenses and the GPL rely on copyright -- so to claim that because something is copyrighted it is not open source is absolutely incorrect. The difference between written journalism and (most commercial) software applications is that writing is distributed as source already. AV is a different story, one that Creative Commons is going to great lengths to address (remix and reuse without the chilling effects of rampant copyright litigation).

I wanted to say "RTFA", as the episode in question and the post go into detail about what "open-source journalism" is (and you can watch it right there on the site :-D).

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all alike.

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