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Fair Use Generates $4.7 Trillion For US Economy 160

Hugh Pickens writes "The Hill spotlights a study released by the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which concludes that companies relying on fair use generate $4.7 trillion in revenue to the US economy every year. The report claims that fair use — an exception to the copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted materials — is crucial to innovation. It adds that employment in fair use industries grew from 16.9 million in 2002 to 17.5 million in 2007 and one out of eight US workers is employed by a company benefiting from protections provided by fair use (PDF). Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) says the reasonable fair use of content needs to be preserved; otherwise, content owners will control access to movies, music, and art that will no longer be available for schools, research, or web browsing. Lofgren tied the copyright issue with the question of net neutrality. Without net neutrality 'content owners will completely control and lock down content. We're going to be sorry characters when we actually don't see fair use rights on the Web,' says Lofgren. 'If we allow our freedom to be taken for commercial purposes, we will have some explaining to do to our founding fathers and those who died for our freedom.'"
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Fair Use Generates $4.7 Trillion For US Economy

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (> on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @08:08AM (#32012522) Journal

    Fair Use Generates $4.7 Trillion For US Economy

    Wrong, from the article

    Companies that rely on fair use generate $4.7 trillion in revenue, according to a study released today by the Computer & Communications Industry Association.

    See the difference? Fair use generates a third of our GDP? Please, I'm not stupid.

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (> on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @08:11AM (#32012548) Journal

    the reasonable fair use of content needs to be preserved

    Would you care to define the boundaries of fair use for me? How much a song can I use non-commercially in one instance (not like a repeated sample) without fear of repercussion or litigation from the copyright holder? Because even though some people have established "safe harbor" and guidelines, they don't seem to be officially codified yet. I uploaded some song samples on Wikipedia for my favorite albums and the rules were 10% of the length of a song or 30 seconds, whichever is shorter. And, honestly, there's no law that completely and irrefutably protects this as fair use. Then there are the people that claim a full album is a "work" and therefore 10% of that (which could be a whole song) is fair use. I don't know where it starts and stops ... with movies it seems like nothing goes while with songs it seems you can get away with a little more. So hazy and ill defined, how can you rely on something like that for income when every step is potential litigation?

    I'm all for preserving it so long as you can define what exactly it is that you are preserving.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @08:50AM (#32012918) Journal

    Uh..... NEW Mickey Mouse cartoons are copyrighted. Old cartoons (like Steamboat Willie) under the previous law would be public domain by now, and therefore you could watch it anytime you felt like it.

    Similarly Linux kernal 1 might very well be public domain by now, but the current Kernal 10 (or wherever we're at) would still be copyrighted.

  • by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @09:00AM (#32013026) Homepage

    But the FSF wish is that any code written would be open source, and in that case the differences between the GPL and the BSD licenses wouldn't exist. Imagine a world where any software buyer would demand the code to be released. The GPL would have no reason to exist.

  • by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @09:37AM (#32013464) Journal

    So the net loss to the music industry because of piracy is about[...]

    No, the net loss to the US economy is. RIAA still lost trillions in revenues, but other sectors of the economy generated trillions in revenues, so as far as the economy as a whole works out it's just about break-even.

    [...]$132 then?

    Or maybe it's a gain of $32.57, depending on whether Bob went out and bought that $164.57 in albums he's been talking about lately. I'll have to ask him later.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @10:58AM (#32014930)

    Without copyright, the GPL couldn't be enforced, and proprietary vendors have no method to prevent reverse engineering and proliferation of software. The GPL is dependent upon copyright, but free software isn't. The Debian project, for example, can still share the source code they already have, and businesses that see free software as a better development method can still contribute. What's more is that a business that just sells software would no longer be viable, so proprietary vendors lose a lot while free vendors don't lose much.

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.