Sounds like fair use to me (and it should be, if it's not)

Ethan Zuckerman blogged Erin McKean’s talk at PopTech, reporting of the fear of some lexicographers that they will be sued for scanning some books to analyze language patterns. “This scanning shouldn’t be threatening to publishers. ‘I don’t care about your plot, or your ideas – I just want to analyze your use of the language.’ It should be considered fair use… ‘but this is America – anyone can sue anyone for anything.’ And just the threat of a lawsuit is enough to prevent lexicographers from analysing some texts.”

EZ goes on: “She begs us to make changes to the copyright pages of our books so that lexicographers have the explicit right to analyze them. (I’ll be putting the idea in front of Larry Lessig, to see if this can be yet another selling point for Creative Commons.)”

1 thought on “Sounds like fair use to me (and it should be, if it's not)

  1. […] Ethan Zuckerman has a delightful post recounting an apparently delightful talk by Oxford University Press lexicographer Erin McKean at the Pop!Tech 2006 conference. (Hat tip to John Palfrey.) The convergence of technology and lexicography is an exciting place. Ethan talks a little about dictionary mash-ups and peer production of dictionaries. McKean has spoken elsewhere about using search engines to track the evolution of language. […]

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