Re: fair use versus new technologies

Subject: Re: fair use versus new technologies
From: Rami Heinisuo (
Date: ti 04 kesä   1996 - 09:08:28 EEST

Hello Johanna,

Some comments and ideas...

> I have difficulties understanding that the electronic environment
> changes the library privileges. Why should an improvement in
> technology lead to frustration of existing rights, like the copying for
> private use or for educational and research purposes. I would like to
> know from the subscribers to this list what their views are on this
> subject. How should the library privileges, the so called "user rights"
> be treated in the electronic environment?

The basic difference between the digital (bits) and the analog world
(books) is reusability, ie. bits can be used and reused, time after time.
Every copy is just like the original. Digital data
can be transformed, copied, automatically sent across the world,
Those who own the content (publishers, media houses, writers) are a
little afraid - what will happen if people just download and upload their
texts and pictures as they like?

Fear is the driving force here - as well as greed. Writers could get a
much larger audience ($$$£££) by _selling_ their products on-line. Writers
are beginning to think that they are not getting paid enough (what is
enough?) for their work.

It is wrong to think that the new era of networks is just about
improvements in technology, because it is more about people than
machines. Technology is reaching a stage where it lies silently in the
background - so the information society will be people communicating and
changing ideas. And some people want to abuse the system to maximum
extent. Content-based industry is afraid of those abusers, really afraid.

Regardless of their fears, I think that the users rights must be
honored, since legislation is 'by the people and for the people'. AFter
all, is not every one of us a user of information one way or another?

> Johanna van Waardenburg
> Open University Rotterdam


Rami Heinisuo

Rami Heinisuo City Library of Pori
Information specialist Regional library of Satakunta PB 200 FIN-28101 PORI

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