Fair use racks up trillions in revenue
Politicos inside the Capitol Beltway will be assailed with the latest report from the lobbyists at the Computer & Communications Industry Association.
Copyright bad, fair use good. That’s the mantra making the rounds on Capitol Hill today. The CCIA is preaching the wholesome creative goodness of fair use exceptions to copyright law to lawmakers:
As the report summarizes, in the past twenty years as digital technology has increased, so too has the importance of fair use. With more than $4.5 trillion in revenue generated by fair use dependent industries in 2006, a 31% increase since 2002, fair use industries are directly responsible for more than 18% of U.S. economic growth and nearly 11 million American jobs. In fact, nearly one out of every eight American jobs is in an industry that benefits from current limitations on copyright.
Does the music industry get this? Not exactly:
Music publishers are cracking down on lyric-clearinghouse sites like AZLyrics.com and Lyrics.com, saying that the ad-supported sites are using copyrighted material without permission; they’re also taking the extra step of going after search engines like Google and Yahoo!, which, under the big, bad Digital Millennium Copyright Act, can be cited for “linking to sites hosting unauthorized works.” Talk about your slippery slopes that could swallow up the entire Internet!
I don’t care about music lyrics all that much. The music industry crackdown on posting tablature is completely moronic. Heaven forfend I learn a bass line from reading a tab rather than grabbing the MP3 of the song off the Internet and listening to it over and over.