On the 3K Limit

[Administrivia: This was originally posted on Monday, February 12, 2008 as a Note on Facebook.]

I am becoming increasingly annoyed with the 3000-character limit on Profile sections — that’s nowhere near enough to bring to my readers half the quotations that define me perfectly, let alone all that have any relevance. It can’t be hardware limitations, since they allow unlimited photos, and no photo is under a K in size. (For the argument from economics, I’m sure that you can find just as big a market for quotes — often inside jokes — on T-shirts as you can for posters and T-shirts from photos which people already had, and had more convenient ways of converting to tactile form if desired.) The only reason I can think of is to try to prevent copyright infringement. While I have some things to say on that subject too, the status-quo-ante solution to that is the same as with photos and profile photos — make a mandatory checkbox saying “I certify that this material is either owned by me or reproduced here by me under the Fair Use Exception to the copyright laws” RIAA, MPAA, and DMCA notwithstanding, posting quotations is most certainly within fair use (though I am no lawyer), and were my work published I would be much more gratified than angry at such use. (C.f. Eric Fint’s ramblings on the subjject — anything that will get a book READ is more likely to get it BOUGHT.)

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