The report looks at a variety of examples of online media that are all eligible for fair use, which is the section of US copyright law that allows creators to freely use copyrighted work, under specific circumstances. While the authors note copyright as a generally positive thing for creators, they fear automated copyright protection is a threat to legal (fair) uses of these materials.
These overreaching practices are another byproduct of a centralized approach to online video.
Unfortunately, this emerging, participatory media culture is at risk, with new industry practices to control piracy. Large content holders such as NBC Universal and Viacom, and online platforms such as MySpace and Veoh are already crafting agreements on removing copyrighted material from the online sites. Legal as well as illegal copying could all too easily disappear.
The co-authors, Professors Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, will discuss their findings at a Monday panel on digital rights management, at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show Monday, Jan. 7 in Las Vegas, NV.