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So this may not be the soundest advice I've ever received, but a very wise man once told me regarding copyright issues, it's better to apologize than to ask permission.  Really, you can publish whatever you want online, but you have to take it down when someone asks, or else you'll get sued, he said.  This is, at its core, true: as it says on the Measuring Fair Use site, the only way to know for sure if it's fair use is to get taken to court. read more

Determining the likeness of a verbatim or parody text to its original is infuriating. Other than estimating the percentage of two things' likeness, I'm not sure how exactly courts judge whether an item falls under Fair Use or not. If likeness basements or ceilings existed (which I don't see how they couldn't), the substantiality in Fair Use cases might be easier to ascertain. That sort of practice is already apparent in Fair Use not covering the "heart" of intellectual property -- so couldn't the "heart" of something be weighted more heavily in a percentage? And I'm still wrestling with how assembled ideas can be unique enough for copyright. This is obviously a question deeper than a four-month class can handle, but -- does a thing have to be unique or significantly unique? read more