Techdirt‘s Mike Masnick explains:
Andy Baio has an absolutely fantastic video presentation that he did recently for Creative Mornings/Portland on what he’s calling The New Prohibition. It’s half an hour long, but absolutely worth watching.
[. . .]
This video lets him talk a bit about the aftermath — to explain the true chilling effects of the threat and the eventual settlement. Baio is a creator. It’s in his blood. It’s what he’s always done, but after this he was afraid to create. Being threatened with a lawsuit, even if you believe you’re right, is a scary and possibly life-altering moment. Lots of people who have not been in those shoes think it’s nothing and that they could handle it. You don’t know.
As he notes in the talk, copyright law is probably the most violated law in the US after speeding and jaywalking (and I’m not even sure copyright infringement is really in third place in that list). But getting rung up for one of those gives you a “bad day” situation, not a ruined life. Copyright, on the other hand, can ruin your life. And chill your speech and creativity.
And this is the worst part: so many people, especially kids, are at risk. Baio also famously highlighted the prevalence of the phrase “no copyright intended” on YouTube. Tons of kids uploading videos use clips of music and videos with a phrase like that. Or with statements about fair use. Or with copyright law quotes. All, as he notes, to try to find that magic voodoo that wards off a possible lawsuit. Most of those people aren’t being sued.
But they could be.