Re: Fair Use Law

Subject: Re: Fair Use Law
From: Michael Lewis <lewism -at- BRANDLE -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 10:28:42 +1100

Recent divergent threads on copyright law reveal, above all, that it's a
complex and rapidly changing issue. More: the original issue of "what is
protected" got split into "protected where", "protected from what", "how
protection is provided", and a few others.

The common point to all of these is that I've also known lawyers to be
wrong -- esp general counsel: here in Australia, there's a growing
number of specialist lawyers in the field of intellectual property. I
imagine things aren't too different elsewhere.

One thing we all need to remember is that -- Berne convention
notwithstanding -- copyright law varies from country to country. (One
reason why trying to legislate for the protection of internet-accessed
material is the kind of pointless exercise only a politician would take
on.) For example, in Australia there's no facility for registration:
once you've *written* something, it's protected. There's a case to be
made for registration as a matter of evidence, but it wouldn't achieve
anything else in this context.
Michael Lewis
Brandle Pty Limited, Sydney, Australia
PO Box 1249, Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012
Suite 8, The Watertower, 1 Marian St, Redfern 2016
Tel +61-2-9310-2224 ... Fax +61-2-9310-5056, or

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