Filed under: FeaturesKnow Your Rights is Engadget's new technology law series, written by our own totally punk copyright attorney Nilay Patel. In it we'll try to answer some fundamental tech-law questions to help you stay out of trouble in this brave new world. Disclaimer: Although this post was written by an attorney, it is not meant as legal advice or analysis and should not be taken as such.
Why're you doing a KYR on fair use? It's all right there in the name, isn't it?
If only it were that simple. Like so many other legal terms, the hardest thing about understanding fair use isn't how it works, but rather that it has such an appealingly simple name -- one that seems to invite a lot of off-the-cuff interpretation.
Well, that's stupid. Why not just make it simple?
Because then lawyers would be out of their jobs, obviously.
That can't be the reason.
Yes, but it's much funnier than the real one.