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Quote of the Day - Since when is public safety the root password to the Constitution? - C. D. Tavares
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Fair Use On A Hard Drive Behind A Username and Password

What's the difference between books on reserve in library stacks for students (who are going to copy them and take the copies back to the dorm to study) and the same books on reserve online (where the same students can just hit the print button in their dorm room)?

Add to the online equation access limited by a username and password, compared to open access on the library shelves. Library reserves are considered fair use. When professors limit access to their class, internet access is more restrictive than libraries.

Publishers, however, want to challenge online use of published works. Looks like we're headed for a court fight.

So what is fair?

Use is the key word. It's not whether it's on a shelf or on a hard drive. It's how it's used. If the use is limited, as it is when it takes either a library card or a username and password to get to the published work, then it's limited, and the use is fair.

That rationale isn't a tautology, it's hopefully the way the courts will see it when they get there a year from now. Any other predictions out there?

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Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, May 22, 2005 at 01:41 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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