D.C. Consumer Lobby Offers $1,000 for Best Video Explaining Copyright Law
April 19, 2011
Knowledge, the Washington, D.C. consumer lobby, is offering $1,000 for the best
video explaining copyright law. PK got fired up over YouTube’s own “ Copyright School” video,
which violators are supposed to watch when they’ve been caught infringing.
Aside from apparently targeting four-year-olds, PK had some other problems with
YouTube’s Copyright School, which also may be the Google gang’s way of
nose-thumbing the content companies that watchdog YouTube for infringement.
“Even though every other part of the video manages to explain the law in
simple, clear terms, the clear implication here is that fair use is way too
complicated to understand, and users should only rely on it if they’re willing
to pony up for a lawyer to defend them,” writes PK’s
Graham, who is also executive articles editor of the American Intellectual
Property Law Association Quarterly Journal. “Sadly, one could argue that this
is actually a cynical but true description of the state of play in fair use
jurisprudence, but it goes against the whole import of the Copyright School. My
sense is that the video is supposed to give users a basic, accurate primer on
copyright law, not to discourage people from relying on established statutory
Thus, PK is putting up 1,000 smackeroos “for the best video that explains why
use of unauthorized material isn't unlawful.”
Deadline for entries is May 23. Contest rules are on the Public Knowledge
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