A call for copyright reform

Kudos to David Freddoso of the Washington Examiner, who yesterday called for copyright reform:

[P]art of the problem is that current copyright law is ambiguous about what constitutes “fair use.” Congress could put an end to this gaming of the legal system by rectifying this. It’s something that House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Tex., should seriously consider.

In justifying his call to action, David cites activities by Righthaven, highlighting the chilling effect copyright trolls have even on established media players like the Examiner:

Throughout the Reid-Angle Senate race in Nevada, we were scared to death to quote or link to anything at the Las Vegas Review Journal (dare I even post something with their name in it?) because they have farmed out copyright infringement to a serial lawsuit abuser.

When a conservative-leaning newspaper with a subscription to the Associated Press is afraid “to quote or link” to another U.S. newspaper for fear of a copyright infringement lawsuit, you know that the current system isn’t working.

Update: Bloggers are pretty scared of Righthaven too.  That’s why the Media Bloggers Association (official website) has filed an amicus brief on behalf of a hapless Righthaven defendant.  (Thanks to TechDirt for the doc and further analysis.)

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