Posted by: lee E. | November 5, 2012

Clear Consequences

In a world where twice in one week a Presidential campaign doesn’t clear it’s use of footage, surely we could do with some clarity around Fair Use.

The CSM site seems to at once revel in and worry about the immense grey area.  Indeed, the CSM finds that “the journalistic mission is in peril, because of lack of clarity around copyright and fair use,”  but in the next breath claims that “copyright law does not exactly specify how to apply fair use, and that is to creators’ advantage.”

God help us if we’re looking to the CSM materials to clear things up.  Their Online Video page has been posted for 5 years without update. Several of the hyperlinks are dead, and the informational video left me too befuddled by aged YouTube remixes to pick out useful information.

It is unnerving to learn the fair use confusion extends to professional journalists.  According to CSM, fair use is “about reasoning and logic; it’s not about just following the rules.”  I wonder if at current a more representative “guide book” looks something like this?  I wonder if the CSM would agree that there’s a lot about new media we just haven’t figured out yet and that with the sheer volume of new media, we may for a long time be  feeling our way in the dark and making publishing decisions mostly by weighing consequences?

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