Fair Use: Expanding Opportunities for Documentarians http://bit.ly/8X5MNl
From a documentarian’s perspective. The conclusion of the article:
Fair use is not a rule but a case-by-case analysis. How copyrighted material is used determines whether it is fair use, so context is critical. When judges decide cases, they pay great attention to the actual practices of the communities of practice, for instance documentary filmmakers.
Asserting their shared standards allows documentary filmmakers to do their work knowing what is normal. In the event of litigation, the standards also would help judges understand filmmakers’ working conditions.
The expansion of fair use has not harmed documentarians’ rights as owners, because fair use is a limited right, designed not to impinge unduly on the marketplace.
Rather, it has permitted more work to flourish more easily, releasing work into the marketplace more quickly. It is widely used by large content holders, though they tend to use it very quietly.