Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week 3 - What's a person to do?

Initially taken aback by the breadth of the Mazzone article, I must admit I was hooked. I had not previously heard the term copyfraud, and I like clever blended words! I read the other class readings (I REALLY did), but Mazzone provided most of the fodder for my thinking.

THOUGHT #1: I would have to agree with Mazzone's assertion that copyright law is not balanced with protections for the public domain. It is not reassuring to me that "the only way to get a definitive answer on fair use is in federal court." I think a regular person could possibly be screwed (even though prosecutions are rare) when facing off against a publisher and attorneys ... even if the regular person's intentions are innocent.

THOUGHT #2: Although I applaud Mazzone's belief that there should be more "teeth" in the Copyright Law to enforce false copyright claims made by publishers and others, I see a federal government already collapsing under the weight of programs it can't afford. In my next life, I'd like to be a Copyright Bounty Hunter ... but only if I can wear a superhero outfit with a "c" inside a circle on the front =)

Finally, I appreciated Sarah's presentation, which framed our first 2 weeks of work and provided some context. Though rigorous, the study of information policy is important in whatever library environment we work. I gotta tell all of you, though, that the policy I've had to address in the last several weeks deals with a patron who wanted us to amend our user conduct policy to allow barefoot patrons in the library. This might be the reason I'm having trouble shifting gears to this more erudite topic!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post, Kathy. I'm glad to hear that the mini-lecture was helpful to you! As you can see, we're slowly shifting from of the loftier or philosophical work into more tangible cases. This week we've focused on legal regimes at the federal level, but as you point out (and as I mentioned in my lecture), policy enters into our professional lives at countless levels, including that of the local public library. We'll be touching on some of those types of issues - ripped, as they say, straight from the headlines - in just a few weeks.

    As Mazzone points out, the way to get a definitive answer on many issues of fair use is, in fact, in federal court. Given this fact, what do you think the effect, therefore, is on a lay person (or, let's say, a teacher or scholar, even) endeavoring to exercise fair use provisions?

    Mazzone and others in his camp would suggest that the result is a chilling effect, with fewer and fewer people willing to risk it. This is a de facto lessening of the provision's reach!