Don't you just love it when bigshots make up the rules and expect everyone else to agree?

The North Country Gazette has been sticking notices at the bottom of its articles claiming that each is "copyright protected and Fair Use is not applicable", totally ignoring the facy that Fair Use is guaranteed by law. The whole point is to stop people just deciding they can be super-stringent with what they put into the public domain.

A number of sites picked up on the story, from Eugene Volokh's blog through to Techdirt. As Volokh says, "I can just make up the law as I going along, because … because … well I just can. OK, I can't, but the North Country Gazette thinks it can."

And as Techdirt says:

Fair use isn't at the whim of the content owner, and it's not in accordance with fair use to deny "any reproduction."

However, the most ridiculous part of the whole thing is that when Giaclone (a retired member of the bar in two areas) points these things out to the editor of the site, she responds by calling him "an ass," saying that the site would be giving him "some publicity" and accusing him of "practicing law without a license," for which the publication's lawyer and the state Attorney General would be alerted.

All this for pointing out that their legal disclaimer isn't actually binding? And we wonder why some people have trouble dealing with the finer points of copyright law…

Quite right. Some groups of people are just getting too carried away with their control issues over content. Seriously.