Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kentucky Library Begins Lending Video Games

Kentucky libraries have decided to begin video game collections available for borrowing. A spokesman said that the library will not carry any games with violence or harsh language. Where was this when I was a kid?

It is not all backwards in Kentucky!

I suppose the libraries have sovereign immunity and cannot be sued for copyright violation, but given that the educational value of most games is marginal at best, is there really a compelling argument for fair use? The effect on the market (harms video game sales), the nature of the work (the copyrighted game itself is being used not a derivative work), and the amount used (the whole game) all weigh in favor of the video game companies. I wonder if the non-financial use of the games is a strong enough reason to find fair use. Then again, I cannot really think of a reason that video games should be banned while books can be lent, since both are supposed to be protected under the same copyright statutes.

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