[Cross posted from EIFL.org, Link (CC-BY)] For the last few decades, the United States has been aggressively and systematically “exporting” half of its copyright system. In treaties and in trade agreements, the US has insisted on longer terms of protection, stiffer penalties for infringement, legal protection for digital locks, and a variety of other measures designed to benefit copyright holders. Only recently, however, has the US even acknowledged the part of its copyright law that protects the public, including schools, libraries, technologists, and entrepreneurs, against overreaching copyright laws.
We in the US have known all along, however, that the real secret of the US’s relative success in both the culture and technology spheres is the balance to copyright protections provided by limitations and exceptions, especially the fair use doctrine. Continue reading »