It’s time for my annual recap of the top Internet Law developments of the year.
#10: Copyright Fair Use Tilts To Defense. Larry Lessig has famously said that “fair use in America simply means the right to hire a lawyer to defend your right to create.” While that may still be the case, 2014 was generally a good year for fair use defendants. Some rulings were straightforward, like the cases involving the circulation of an expert witness’ resume and copying a blogger’s posts in a disciplinary proceeding. More surprising is the strong fair use rulings protecting the aggregation of copyrighted works into large-scale databases–the subject of several significant defense wins, including the Author’s Guild v. HathiTrust, White v. West Publishing and Fox News v. TVEyes rulings. For a more thorough review of fair use in 2014, see this post.