Fair Use: 12 Myths and Realities

This week is Fair Use Week, an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines.

Fair use is a critical right and the most important limitation on the rights of the copyright holder. It permits the use of copyrighted material without permission from the rightholder under certain circumstances and has been called the “safety valve” of U.S. copyright law. Fair use is a broad and flexible doctrine that is responsive to change and can accommodate new technologies and developments. The doctrine is relied upon by everyone, including both users of copyrighted content as well as rights holders.

For libraries and higher education, fair use is integral to achieving the mission of preservation; providing access to cultural, historical, local and scientific heritage; supporting and encouraging research, education, literacy and lifelong learning; and providing a venue for community engagement.

While fair use is of critical importance, there are many myths about what fair use is and
how it can be used (such as the misconceptions cited at the March 2014 Orphan Works Roundtable).  In honor of Fair Use Week, here are twelve myths and realities about fair use (PDF document).

Please share...
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Print this page

Roundup from Day 4 of Fair Use Week

This week is Fair Use Week, an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines. Cross-posted from Fair Use Week.

Check out all of the great posts from Day 1 of Fair Use Week 2015!  Don’t see yours?  Contact us to get yours added!

Videos:

Podcast:

Blog Posts:

Please share...
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Print this page

ARL Applauds Federal Communications Commission Decision to Support Net Neutrality

*Cross-posted from ARL News, originally posted on Thursday, February 26, 2015*

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted today, February 26, 2015, in favor of adopting rules to protect and promote the open Internet, also known as net neutrality. With today’s vote passing the 2015 Open Internet Order, the FCC can ensure that Internet providers do not create “fast lanes”—designated for those willing and able to pay a premium—and “slow lanes”—for everyone else—and that the Internet remains open and available to all.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) applauds the Open Internet Order, which reclassifies the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act and also relies upon the FCC’s authority under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act to provide a strong legal basis to protect net neutrality. As both providers and consumers of content and services on the Internet, research libraries and their parent institutions have long relied on the open character of the Internet, including non-discriminatory access.

Deborah Jakubs, president of ARL, said, “Libraries, colleges, and universities have long championed, advanced, and provided critical intellectual freedoms such as education, research, learning, free speech, and innovation. These freedoms rely on net neutrality, and today’s vote at the FCC ensures that network operators cannot act as gatekeepers and place commercial interests above non-commercial expression.”

Ultimately, the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order recognizes the fact that the open Internet is increasingly critical to the way information is shared and disseminated today. ARL congratulates the FCC on its decision, which incorporates many of the joint principles filed by library and higher education organizations and will allow the research library community to continue to offer a growing number of distance learning services, online course instruction, and access to extensive digital content, as well as promote new innovations.

Please share...
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Print this page

Fair Use in a Day in a Life of a Legislative Assistant

*This week is Fair Use Week, an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines.*  

While we are celebrating Fair Use Week from February 23-27, every week is fair use week (in fact, every day is fair use day).  This important doctrine is critical to the ability to teach, learn, share information and use every day technologies.  Fair uses are all around us.

Earlier this week, Fred von Lohmann explained how fair use enables every day technology.  Today, Jonathan Band gives a sample day in the life of a legislative assistant, showing just how often fair use is employed in a daily basis.  Read all about Fair Use in a Day in a Life of a Legislative Assistant and visit fairuseweek.org for other great resources!

Please share...
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Print this page

Fair Use: Building the World of Tomorrow

*This week is Fair Use Week, an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines.  

Today’s post is brought to you by guest blogger, Greg Cram, Associate Director of Copyright and Information Policy, New York Public Library.  Cross-posted to fairuseweek.org*

In 1939, the New York World’s Fair opened to great pomp and circumstance. The theme of the Fair was “Building the World of Tomorrow.” The aspirational theme reflected the country’s desire to shake off the doldrums of the Great Depression and focus on a better future. Participants included close to 60 nations, 33 states and U.S. territories, and over a thousand exhibitors. During its two seasons, the fair attracted 45 million visitors.

At the conclusion of the Fair, the corporation responsible for the Fair dissolved and donated a large amount of material to The New York Public Library. The corporation donated over 2,500 boxes of records and documents, as well 12,000 promotional photographs. These records document not only the operations of the Fair, but also present a comprehensive view of all aspects of the planning, design, execution, maintenance, and dismantling of the Fair. The photographs in particular offer a unique view of life at the time, illustrating the Fair as only visual images can do.The collection is used heavily by researchers and the public today. It supports research on a variety of subjects, including the birth of consumer society, the influence of industrial design in common objects, and the fashions of the time. For example, the collection was recently used by the New York City Parks Department to inform the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Fair. The collection has served as foundational research for numerous articles, books, theses and dissertations.

Because of the popularity and importance of the collection, we wanted to make the collection as broadly accessible as possible. We began by trying to determine the copyright status for the nearly ten tons of material in the collection. The publication status of much of the material was difficult to determine. With this uncertainty, we treated the material as if it were in copyright.

We then turned to conducting a thorough, good-faith search for rights holders. We spent days combing through the legal records of the Fair to determine whether the Fair’s copyrights were ever assigned to a third party. We also tried to determine whether copyrights were assigned at the dissolution of the corporation, but could not find an answer in the collection. When the records of the Fair did not help, we searched for rights holders utilizing other methods, including searches on Google, the Copyright Office records, and other relevant sources. This search was time-consuming and, ultimately, fruitless.

Having found no copyright owner after our good-faith and reasonable search, we undertook a fair use analysis. Our analysis was informed by the development of voluntary community-driven efforts to create best practices for identifying rights holder(s), taking into account the nature of the particular material at issue, including the Society of American Archivists’ 2009 statement of best practices, as well as general guidance such as the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries, developed by the Association of Research Libraries. We were also informed by various academic viewpoints, including Jennifer Urban’s article on fair use and orphan works.

Guided by our fair use analysis, we determined to move forward with digitization of portions of the collection after balancing the educational benefit of the undertaking against the risk that a rights holder might subsequently surface. Although the potential for $1.8 billion in statutory damages in the worst-case scenario was daunting, we not only digitized and posted the selections of the collection online, we also created a free iPad application to feature the digitized content. The iPad application contextualizes the content by using original essays and innovative design alongside the content created by the Fair. The application was named one of Apple’s “Top Education Apps” of 2011.

So far, no rights holder has contacted us to ask that we limit the uses of works from the Fair collection. If a rights holder wished to contact us about our uses, we have made our contact information available online and in the iPad application. We welcome any new information about the rights holder of this collection.

*Portions of this post were previously published in NYPL’s Reply Comments to Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: Notice of Inquiry.
Please share...
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Print this page

Roundup from Day 3 of Fair Use Week

This week is Fair Use Week, an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines. Cross-posted from Fair Use Week.

Check out all of the great posts from Day 1 of Fair Use Week 2015!  Don’t see yours?  Contact us to get yours added!

Videos:

Blog posts:

Please share...
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Print this page

Roundup from Day 2 of Fair Use Week (blog posts, videos and a podcast)

This week is Fair Use Week, an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines. Cross-posted from Fair Use Week

Check out all of the great posts from Day 1 of Fair Use Week 2015!  Don’t see yours?  Contact us to get yours added!

Check out these videos posted yesterday:

And this podcast:

And the blog posts from yesterday:

Please share...
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Print this page

Video: Fred von Lohmann on Fair Use Enabling Everyday Technology

This week is Fair Use Week, an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines. Cross-posted from Fair Use Week.

A great Fair Use Week video of Fred von Lohmann explaining how fair use enables everyday technology.

Please share...
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Print this page

Roundup of Posts from Day 1 of Fair Use Week

This week is Fair Use Week, an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines. 

Cross-posted from Fair Use Week

Check out all of the great posts from Day 1 of Fair Use Week 2015!  Don’t see yours?  Contact us to get yours added!

TechDirt: Reminder: Fair Use Is a Right — And Not ‘An Exception’ or ‘A Defense’

UT Austin: Fair Use Week 2015

Harvard: Day One With Guest Expert Kenneth D. Crews: Copyright, Fair Use and a Touch of Aristotle

University of Chicago: Celebrate Fair Use Week

Author’s Alliance: Fair Use and the Ecstasy of Influence

Georgia State University: Fair Use Week

Lincoln Land Community College: Fair Use Week 2015

The Ohio State University: Fair Use in Digital Storytelling

Northeastern University: February 23-27 is Fair Use Week!

MIT: It’s Fair Use Week!

UCSF: The Library Answers Your Fair Use Questions

University of Illinois Urbana Champaign: Fair Use Week 2015: Celebrating the “Safety Valve” of U.S. Copyright Law

UMass Amherst: Fair Use Week – How Parodies Transformed Fair Use

Fair Dealing in Education: Happy Fair Use/Dealing Week

Mark A. McCutcheon, Associate Professor of Literary Studies at Athabasca University: “Cut Up”: an elegaic cento made of song lyrics

ARL (Guest post by Jonathan Band): Fair and Balanced Result in New Jersey Media Group v. Fox News Network

 

Please share...
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Print this page

ICYMI: Fair Use Fundamentals Infographic

This week is Fair Use Week, an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines. 

In honor of Fair Use Week 2015, we’ve released a new infographic, “Fair Use Fundamentals.” Fair use is an important right that provides balance to the copyright system in the United States and supports the Constitutional purpose of copyright to “promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts.”  This infographic explains what fair use is, why it is important and who uses fair use.  The infographic also provides several high-profile examples of fair use.

The infographic is freely available as a PDF to embed on blogs and websites and to print and hand out at events. Share the link, embed the PDF on your site, print copies for your next event, and continue to support and work with your campus partners on promoting fair use.

ARL-FUW-Infographic-r4-page-001 ARL-FUW-Infographic-r4-page-002

Fair Use Week 2015 is being celebrated this week, Monday, February 23, through Friday, February 27. You can participate on a single day during the week, multiple days, or the full week. Visit http://www.fairuseweek.org/ to participate or find additional resources.

This post first appeared, in part, as an ARL News item on the ARL website.

Please share...
Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Print this page