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A Closer Look at Fair Use: Peter Jaszi and Naomi Novik testify to the United States Congress
TechDirt (2014)
  • Matthew Rimmer, Australian National University College of Law
It is twenty years since the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its landmark decision on copyright law and the defence of fair use in the "Pretty Woman" case, Campbell v. Acuff Rose Music. Inspired by the jurisprudence of Justice Story and Justice Leval, Justice Souter developed a doctrine of transformative use. His Honour stressed that "the goal of copyright, to promote science and the arts, is generally furthered by the creation of transformative works." Justice Souter observed: "Such works thus lie at the heart of the fair use doctrine's guarantee of breathing space within the confines of copyright, and the more transformative the new work, the less will be the significance of other factors, like commercialism, that may weigh against a finding of fair use."
In January 2014, the United States Congress held a hearing about copyright law and the scope of the defense of fair use. The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee - through its Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet - heard a number of pieces of evidence and testimony. Mike Masnick provided an astute summary of the issues raised in the hearing on Techdirt. Brandon Butler said that the hearing put "transformativeness on trial."
Professor Peter Jaszi is a leading public scholar and intellectual on matters of copyright law. He was instrumental in co-editing landmark collections of copyright law and authorship, such as The Construction of Authorship. Jaszi was quick to argue against the introduction of a copyright term extension in the United States. He has written extensively about the operation of the copyright defense of fair use – writing works such as Reclaiming Fair Use with Patricia Aufderheide.
  • Copyright,
  • Fair Use,
  • Fan Fiction,
  • United States,
  • Free Speech,
  • Innovation
Publication Date
February 1, 2014
Citation Information
Matthew Rimmer. "A Closer Look at Fair Use: Peter Jaszi and Naomi Novik testify to the United States Congress" TechDirt (2014)
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