[Foundation-l] Fair Use (again)

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Tue Jan 30 17:42:24 UTC 2007

Robert Scott Horning wrote:

>I should note that I got into this whole mess because I was involved 
>with a group that was trying to write a Wikibook about M.C. Escher, and 
>I tried to point out that they couldn't reproduce the Escher artwork 
>unless they somehow were able to obtain a license that could be used 
>under the GFDL.  The response was that the images were being used on 
>Wikipedia, so why not Wikibooks?  The Escher reproductions are claiming 
>fair use, but I think it has gone way too far on Wikipedia, as I believe 
>these to be merely a copyright violation.
I would observe that there is one significant difference between the two 
situations.  It is one thing to use a couple of Escher's art works in 
Wikipedia to illustrate a biographical article about him; in my mind 
that could reasonably be viewed as fair use.  The wholesale reproduction 
of his works in Wikibooks would probably not be.  The difference is in 
the application in the substantiality rule of fair use law.

Of course, it doesn't help to know that some of Escher's works MAY be in 
the public domain, but it's not up to us to research and make that case 
on behalf of the uploader.


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