I stumbled across a post on the Fair Use Week website entitled The Digital Millennium Copyright Act Promotes Creativity. I don't naturally think of the DMCA as protecting creativity, but the article reminded me of take-down notices. Take-down notices can stifle creativity and personal opinions, but the person can challenge the notice. As the post notes, there is move to change how the take-down notices work, which would smother creative efforts. Read it to learn how.
How does this relate to fair use? The writer looks back to when the DMCA was originally drafted:
In drafting the DMCA, Congress protected fair use; according to a 1998 Senate report, “[t]he Committee [on the Judiciary] determined that no change to section 107 was required because section 107, as written, is technologically neutral, and therefore, the fair use doctrine is fully applicable in the digital world as in the analog world.”This is an important reminder. Fair use isn't just for print. Fair use works with digital materials. Yes, we need to exercise our fair use muscles everywhere! When a publisher tells you that you need a license to use something - or automatically grants you a license during the pandemic - consider if you can rely on fair use. Likely you can!