The First Annual World’s Fair Use Day (WFUD) took place on January 12 here in Washington, D.C. in a free event produced by Public Knowledge. It included discussions with artists, documentary filmmakers, lawyers, activists and musicians interested in celebrating and supporting the concept of Fair Use for artistic and cultural expression. This was a unique way to hear about projects employing fair use topics from the people who created them. Examples of speakers include:
- Irish artist Dan Walsh who created “Garfield Minus Garfield“, an almost existential reworking of the Garfield comic strip
- Chris Burke, producer, This Spartan Life, which uses video content from video games like Halo for an entertaining talk show
- Musician DJ Earworm who creates music mashups combining the top Billboard songs of the year, which also appear on his YouTube channel
In addition to talking to creators, the event highlighted legal and policy work in this area, such as the work of the Center for Social Media at American University and their efforts in various areas of best practices. At the lunch talk, Professors Peter Jaszi (American University) and Anthony Falzone (Stanford Center for Internet and Society) responded to audience questions surrounding fair use topics. Even in discussing failed defenses in a fair use case involving a Harry Potter Lexicon, Professor Jaszi sees positive developments. He called this a victory for fair use, saying that the federal court’s decision should help refine judicial tests for fair use factors, especially in the Second Circuit. For instance, he says that loss of licensing revenue is gone from the factor analysis here.
Mark your calendars for January 2011 for next year’s event.
[Submitted by Roger Skalbeck, AALL Copyright Committee Vice Chair]