In July, I posted an excerpt from a small Ursula K. Le Guin piece. I never had any intention of reproducing Le Guin’s piece in full, because I recognized that it was a short piece. But I now realize that I was wrong to reproduce as much as I did, and I have since reduced my excerpt to one sentence, which I feel constitutes fair use. Cory Doctorow, on the other hand, seems to feel that reproducing an author’s piece in whole is “fair use.” And his disingenuous citation of 17 USC, which entailed reproducing a “single paragraph” of a single paragraph piece strikes me as a dubious interpretation to say the least. His apology is nothing more than self-serving adulation. Whatever one’s thoughts on “information wanting to be free,” when one reproduces the whole of a piece, one knowingly commits copyright infringement. Thus, Doctorow indisputably committed piracy here and should really be careful if he wishes to continue dunning his nose into his idols’ posteriors. Le Guin’s thoughts on the matter can be found here.
© 2007, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.