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Buzzfeed Faces $3.6 Million Lawsuit for Copyright Infringement | The American Spectator


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Interesting.  This is the first time I've heard this perspective of 'transformative' Fair Use.  

BuzzFeed defends its use of others’ images without licenses under the Fair Use exception to copyright. By putting images in lists, BuzzFeed argues that its use of these images is transformative, not derivative, so they are not violating the rights of copyright holders by using them on their website.

The site’s founder, Jonah Peretti, explained the argument to The Atlantic last year:

So, Peretti told me that he considers a BuzzFeed list — its sequencing, framing, etc — to be a transformative use of photos. That is to say, including that unattributed photo of the otter in that list was OK because its inclusion as an “extremely disappointed” animal transformed the nature of the photo.

“It’s a question,” Peretti said, “of when lots of little things add up to a transformation as opposed to a copyright violation.”

Most publications do not construe the Fair Use exception in that way and rely on images that they have paid licenses to use or on images that are free to use under Creative Commons licensing. Critics argue that the act of compiling these images to a list is not transformative and is, in fact, a violation of the law, as Eiselein claims.

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