Tuesday 9 June 2009

Patry makes fair use of own work

'The increased importance of fair use' has motivated William Patry (Google Senior Copyright Counsel) to issue a new book on fair use in US copyright law (details here). It takes Chapter 10 from his vast authority Patry on Copyright and adds two new chapters. Patry explains their scope in his blog:
'One chapter is on the early 18th-century English cases from whence fair use arose, and the other chapter is on current international issues. The old English cases are both interesting and important for showing the boldness of the common law judges in forging the doctrine. I expect to expand the international chapter in the next edition given the increased importance of limitations and exceptions and the debates about the three-step test. The book will be updated once a year and will be reissued every year.'

Could those judges who were so bold in the early days of the Copyright Act 1709 (such as Lord Hardwicke, pictured here, who introduced the concept of 'fair abridgement' in 1740) have sliced through the Gordian knot of the 21st-century's copyright tangle?

1 comment:

William Patry said...

Hi Hugo, thanks for the post. There are some contemporary judges who are bold, common law judges with fair use: in the U.S.: Posner and Leval. In Canada, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and a majority of others. Whether our U.S. Supreme Court would be so bold is an open question.