Academic journal article Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal

Fair Use and the Challenge of New Technologies

Academic journal article Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal

Fair Use and the Challenge of New Technologies

Article excerpt

The third symposium panel, "Fair Use and the Challenge of New Technologies" addressed the Fair Use Doctrine in light of new digital environments. Professor Tyler Ochoa of Santa Clara University School of Law moderated the discussion concerning the challenges new technologies place on the law. The panelists, David Anderman, Andrew P. Bridges, and Michael Ramsay, each represented a different background and viewpoint, which led to a lively and entertaining debate.

Mr. Anderman is the director of corporate business affairs at Lucasfilm, Ltd. Mr. Bridges is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati LLP and currently represents ClearPlay, Inc. in a copyright and trademark suit challenging ClearPlay's DVD player control software. Mr. Ramsay is Chairman and CEO of TiVo, Inc. and has tried to balance the needs of consumers with the needs of the industry in providing TiVo users with the broadest range of fair use features.

Professor Ochoa set the tone of the discussion by asking the panelists if the Sony Betamax case still applied to the digital video environment. One major theme emerged from the various responses. Michael Ramsey first pointed out that there is a "line in the sand" when dealing with the industry. It is ambiguous and subjective, and difficult to navigate when trying to stay on the safe side. For example, when consumers fast forward commercials they can still see them, but if they automatically skip them, then you cross that line where the industry gets upset, as was the case with Replay TV.

Mr. Bridges agreed that there was definitely a line in the sand where the industry was concerned, and emphasized that Sony Betamax remains good law. …

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