“People are just scared to use fair use… I was scared to use it… lawyers would scare me they would say this does qualify as fair use but I would not use this.” – Byron Hurt, Film Maker
This video reminded me of working in the legal arts clinic my last semester of law school. Many of the artists that would come to the clinic were doing creative projects that included some fair use or even a lot of fair use. I wanted to give advice that their work was likely fair use and thus protected 1st Amendment speech, the advice given was often much more pessimistic and even once painfully crushing to the artist. These are smaller artist that want to spend their days creating, not trying to clear rights on transformative works from rights holder that will not even return their calls. As a lawyers you are trained to minimize risk, which unfortunately is interpreted as avoiding fair use all together. American’s Center for Social Media is trying to change this norm by helping communities create or document their best practices related to fair use and enable artist to use their free speech rights.