Eugene Volokh joins the pile–on regarding a website that claims to exempt its contents from the liberating effects of the fair use doctrine. The North Country Gazette, a publication whose editorial fare contains a remarkably high percentage of Terry Schiavo-oriented stories, takes the position that due to this fiat, we cannot excerpt the likes of:
An intoxicated Granville man has been charged with felony criminal mischief for throwing a portable urinal against the wall in a treatment room at the Glens Falls Hospital, destroying sterile equipment.
No, that doesn’t sound right.
But couldn’t the website, if they’d phrased it differently — as a contractual agreement, i.e., a condition precedent to use of the website — theoretically make such a stipulation stick? Maybe, possibly. But this heavy-handed approach seems assured to do only one thing: Generate links to the website. Which it has.