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A flashconf on fair use?

Monday, December 17, 2007 by Dave Winer.

A picture named united.gifThere's been a mostly fantastic discussion about fair use in this neighborhood for the last few days.  Permalink to this paragraph

It started when a photograph of Lane Hartwell's was used in a video spoof of the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire."  Permalink to this paragraph

The first I heard of this was in a Twitter post of hers where she said she was turning off access to her entire Flickr collection because this picture was used without permission. A series of communications with the people who did the video resulted in the video being taken down. Permalink to this paragraph

Later Mike Arrington, who is a lawyer, wrote a piece saying she didn't have right on her side, and that the video's use of her picture was probably fair use. I found Mike's piece compelling. Others took offense. It thought it was a useful part of the discussion. Permalink to this paragraph

I understand Ms Hartwell's point of view. I hate it when people copy a whole post of mine and paste it into theirs. But then I grab bits of images and put them on my blog and people rarely complain. The blogosphere is built on being loose about copyright and fair use.  Permalink to this paragraph

I'm doing a deal with a content company and all these issues are coming up. We haven't been able to write a contract that covers all the things they want covered and make it possible for me to do what I need to do, and they want my product to work. It's a real mess we're in. Bloggers are supposed to be radicals when it comes to fair use and copyright, but that generalization doesn't work with many creative people. Hartwell's position in some ways is like the RIAA or MPAA, who bloggers often dismiss as clueless. How can we have it both ways? How can some defend her position yet not defend the entertainment industry? Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named airplane.gifThere's a lot to discuss here, and a lot of the discussion on the blogs has been informative and respectful. Not all of it, but to an unusually high degree.  Permalink to this paragraph

So, I am interested in doing an in person "flash conference" on the subject of fair use in a few weeks. Permalink to this paragraph

I'd say next week if it weren't Christmas. Permalink to this paragraph

Most conferences are so boring. I want to do a conf on a hot subject when it's still hot in the blogosphere. This may be a good subject for such a quickly organized conference. Permalink to this paragraph

What do you think of the flash conference idea for this?? Permalink to this paragraph

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