On 5/19/06, Anthony DiPierro <wikilegal(a)inbox.org> wrote:
Why do people keep saying this? Fair use is a
defense. It's also a right.
They keep saying it because that's the legal mantra about fair use
(just like "you can't patent a fact" is one for patents), which is
repeated in law books and by law professors and by lawyers on
television. (I think I first heard it from a lawyer in a class I took.
It's catchy -- catchier than "free as in speech, not as in beer" by a
As I understand it, the real difference between a defense and a right
is that you can sue somebody for violating a right, but a defense can
only be used if you yourself are sued. You can't sue somebody for
violating your "fair use" rights -- though I do wish that you could
(it would revolutionize copyright legislation and really make it
dangerous for a the mega-corporations to put the legal squeeze on