Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Come, friends of piracy

This is a bit rich.  A network of university "research libraries" is holding "Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week" in Canada, the United States and Britain. As Hugh Stephens, the blogger (and scholar) of all things copyright, observes:

We will hear a lot about the benefits of exceptions and limitations to copyright, how permissionless use under specific circumstances promotes learning, creativity, free speech, public discourse. etc.

 All well and good. We quote at this blog, too, as you may notice. But, as Stephens goes on to observe:

What fair use and fair dealing do not justify is the wholesale appropriation of copyrighted content through industrial-scale unauthorized copying that destroys any market for the author’s works. Unfortunately, that is what is currently happening in both Canada and the US–through broad-based uncompensated educational copying in Canada and through infringing digital copying by libraries (and “pretend libraries”, like the Internet Archive) in the US, and to some extent in Canada as well.

The whole piece is well worth reading, not least to anyone concerned with academic ethics.

Image:  from Hugh Stephens's blog cited above. 

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