This got me thinking about free speech. Read it first before reading on.

I love being able to take nearly any thing broadcast in the world and share it with friends. I don’t have all of the technology to do so, but I could. But what if I took a speech given by an influential politician and edited it every so slightly in a fashion where the edit itself isn’t noticed, but the meaning is changed? Does this fall under my freedom of speech? What about the original speaker’s right to speech? I’ve edited his or her words to fit my desires, probably without their permission, and there is nothing to stop me from passing it off as original. Does their right to free speech protect their message from being altered?

I agree that we should be able “to send video clips to their friends, post them on their websites, etc.” But where is the line on how much I can edit that before I’m not respecting another person’s right to express themselves as well?

You could argue this is already done. The evening news shows us clips from important speeches to shape a story, for instance. Is the rebroadcast of an edited clip in violation of fair use even if they paid for it?

I don’t know much about the fair use topic, to be forthright. But it seems that there are murky waters to tread in this debate.

Technorati Tags: ,