The battle for fair use is unfair to anyone who plays by the old rules and tries to share with the artists because human creatives can’t compete with the automated services that aren’t sharing with the artists.
Peter Wayner on Wired ponders the issue of fair use from a small, independent publisher point of view and asks some really good questions about what Google could actually do to encourage and reward those who create and bring new insight to the internet — not just those that remix it.
He writes: "What if the researchers at these companies could improve their bots enough for the algorithms to make intelligent decisions about fair use?
If their systems can organize the web and drive cars, surely they are capable of shouldering some of the responsibility for making smart decisions about fair use.
Such tools could help identify blogs or websites that borrow too aggressively from other sites. The search engines that are crawling the net could then use that information to flag sites that cross the line from fair use into plagiarism.
Google, for example, already has tools that find music in videos uploaded to YouTube, and then shares the revenue with the creators.
The fair-use algorithms could also honor what the artist wants — for instance, some artists want to be copied. In these cases, a markup language that enumerates just how much the artist wants to encourage fair use could help provide that choice.
That way, those who want rampant copying could encourage it while those who want to maintain exclusivity could dial back the limits."
I can't but agree 110% with these suggestions.
As a curator I feel that there is a strong need for policing fair use and for greater transparency by those who choose to re-use other people content.
I am not for laws, and fines, but yes I am for tools that could tell me who is being fair in re-using and crediting / licensing other people's work, and who is not. Such tools could also motivate me to create more original visual work without fearing that other people would just steal it and re-use it as theirs.
Excellent suggestions. Recommended. Good questions being asked. 9/10