Who says so? I do! 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; all its articles say at the bottom, "This article is copyright protected and Fair Use is not applicable." Just making it up, as I said.
A contract, even a clickwrap contract (i.e., "To access this site, you must agree to waive your fair use rights") might serve to impose a contractual obligation on you not to copy material, just as a contract to keep facts confidential imposes a contractual obligation on you not to copy material. That copyright law doesn't prohibit fair use copying, or doesn't prohibit copying of facts, doesn't preclude the creation of contracts in which one party promises not to engage in such copying; there's some controversy about that, but I'm pretty confident that this is so. Nonetheless, that requires some manifestation of assent to the contract, and simply visiting a publicly accessible Web page that says "Fair Use is not applicable" surely doesn't qualify.
Thanks for the pointer to David Giacalone, who has more to say about the subject.
UPDATE: Commenter Tony points to yet another lovely item on the front page, "In accordance with Fair Use of Copyright: WE FORBID ANY REPRODUCTION in part or in whole of The North Country Gazette." I take it that they're forbidding the reproduction of this very quote, even in the course of my criticism of their position — nice work if they can get it, but fortunately they can't. We are all quite free to reproduce that quote, and other quotes from their material, of course within the boundaries of fair use (and a quote of a sentence from a work in the course of criticizing the work qualifies).
FURTHER UPDATE: The "This article is copyright protected and Fair Use is not applicable" line seemingly no longer appears in new articles on the site, but the "In accordance with Fair Use of Copyright: WE FORBID ANY REPRODUCTION in part or in whole of The North Country Gazette" remains on the front page. Why should people trust the accuracy of the articles on the site, if the site's claims about copyright law are inaccurate?
Related Posts (on one page):
- "In Accordance With Fair Use ... We Forbid Any Reproduction":
- This Blog Post Is Copyright Protected and Fair Use Is Not Applicable: