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62 Ohio State Law Journal 849 (2001)


The author of this article forecasts an increasingly troubled future, if not the demise of the doctrine of fair use in copyright law. Legal developments, both at home and abroad, driven by technological change, and the push toward the international harmonization of legal norms, threaten the very survival of fair use. Given these realities the doctrine will, of necessity, be reconceptualized Although fair use values will always be inscribed in copyright law, these values will have their practical manifestation in decentralized form, and effectuated, in large part, through industry agreement. They will exist in conjunction with certain bright line exceptions and limitations to copyright that will resemble the fair use conception in civil law countries. It may take several years to assess whether this reincarnation of fair use will adequately mediate the needs of users and copyright owners in a global information marketplace. But the on-going process leading to a new fair use paradigm is firmly in place as manifested by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) establishing an administrative oversight process for determining fair use in this context.