[A2k] NMA to Trump: “Fair use” gone too far

Manon Ress manon.ress at keionline.org
Fri Dec 16 07:15:34 PST 2016

RIAA, newspapers ask Trump to limit fair use, toughen copyright
Content companies still have a grudge against Google, and they're telling

JOE MULLIN - 12/14/2016, 5:44 PM


President-elect Donald Trump is meeting today with some of Silicon Valley's
top business leaders. Ahead of that meeting, content companies sent letters
letting Trump know that they're hoping to see some changes to copyright
laws in the near future—changes that technology companies, large and small,
are likely to object to.

“Fair use” gone too far

Separately, the News Media Alliance (formerly the Newspaper Association of
America) sent the Trump transition team a white paper (PDF) about copyright
and other media law matters. The NMA letter, published on Monday by the
Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a real throwback. It complains about
Google News' publication of snippets and claims that "outdated
interpretations of copyright laws mean that the industry is currently
forced to give away much of its product for free." It isn't clear exactly
what NMA means by that, since newspapers aren't forced to give away their
product or anything else for free, and it's easy enough to opt out of
Google News.

The NMA letter goes on to complain that courts are too often finding in
favor of fair use. "[W]e support refocusing the fair-use test on its
original purpose to prevent courts from undermining the Constitution’s
encouragement of compensation to entities that generate creativity and
productivity," the letter states.

The concerns seem squarely focused, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation
notes, on aggregators like Google News and others similar to it. Some news
organizations have long believed Google should pay up for displaying
"snippets" of news, even though such small quotes have traditionally been
seen as fair use.

The NMA letter goes on to express concern about possible threats to press
freedom, expressing support for a press pool so that the public can be
informed of the president-elect's activities. Concerns about press access
came up when Trump effectively ditched the press pool twice within a week
after his election.

Manon Ress, Ph.D.
Knowledge Ecology International, KEI
manon.ress at keionline.org, tel.: +1 202 332 2670

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