Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2018 Highlights Balance in the Copyright System

*Cross-posted from ARL News*

The fifth annual Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week took place February 26–March 2, 2018, growing to 153 participating organizations—as well as numerous individuals—celebrating the important and flexible doctrines of fair use and fair dealing worldwide. This year’s event was organized by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and participants included universities, libraries, library associations, and many other organizations, such as Authors Alliance, the Center for Democracy & Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the R Street Institute, and Re:Create. Sixty ARL member institutions contributed a wide range of resources this year. Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week was observed around the globe by participants in such countries as Australia, Canada, Colombia, Greece, and the United States.

Throughout the week, participants celebrated the essential limitations and exceptions to copyright that fair use and fair dealing provide, allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. While fair use and fair dealing are employed on a daily basis, Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is a time to promote and discuss opportunities presented, share successful stories, and explain these doctrines.

Each day, new blog posts and other resources were produced and shared and institutions hosted a variety of live events, such as panel discussions, film screenings, button- and kaleidocycle-making stations and more. Daily roundups and additional resources are available on the Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week website. There were 90 news and blog posts, three infographics, three videos, a podcast, and more shared over the course of the week. Below are some highlights.

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2019 will take place February 25–March 1. Plan to participate!


ARL released the infographic, “Fair Use Promotes the Creation of New Knowledge.”

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) released a double-sided infographic—one side pertaining to fair dealing generally and one on fair dealing and education in Canada—“Fair Dealing in Canada: Myths & Facts.” Additionally, CARL launched an expanded website and social media campaign for Fair Dealing Week; the new website includes a compelling testimonials page, highlighting the importance of fair dealing from many different sources.

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) released the infographic, “Fair Use and Fair Dealing for Libraries.”

Harvard University released a new comic book, this one on the Authors Guild v. Google case.

Creative Commons Australia produced a Storify recap of its favorite posts on Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week.


Re:Create released a new episode of its Copy This Podcast, “Copying is Human Nature,” which features Laura Quilter, copyright and information policy librarian at University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) released a recording of its webinar with Carla Myers, scholarly communication coordinator at Miami University Libraries in Ohio, “Can’t You Just Say Yes? Answering Copyright Questions about Fair Use for Patrons.”

Massachusetts Institute for Technology created a printable fair use kaleidocycle with video instructions on how to create it.

University of Winnipeg released a Fair Dealing Week video.

University of Lethbridge posted a video about “Fair Dealing in the Classroom.”

News/Blog Posts

The Center for Democracy & Technology posted a clever “conversation” about fair use entirely made up of quotations from other papers, statements, court opinions and more, entitled “I Didn’t Write This Conversation about Fair Use.”

R Street Institute posted, “The Creative Side of R Street,” illustrated with over a dozen GIFs.

There were also several posts related to fair use and trade agreements, including one by attorney Jonathan Band; one by Sean Flynn, associate director for the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University Washington College of Law; and one by Timothy Vollmer, senior manager of public policy at Creative Commons.

Here’s an interview with copyright expert Peter Jaszi, which includes a question about the current work on a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Software Preservation. The National Library of Medicine’s blog post covers a range of relevant fair use issues and also references the software preservation project.

Aligning with ARL’s infographic theme for 2018, there were quite a few posts about fair use and user-generated content or new knowledge, including the University of San Francisco’s post on fan fiction; University of Virginia’s event on “The State of the Remix @UVA;” a post on the Copyright at Harvard Library blog featuring mash-up videos and entitled “Fair Use and User Generated Content;” Re:Create’s Creator Profile featuring Sarah Loch, a fanfiction writer; the Organization for Transformative Works discussion of the Copy Me project with two creators interested in fan works; and this post by Jonathan Band about the musical Something Rotten.

The Authors Alliance posted several times during the week, including an updated Fair Use FAQ and an announcement of the print release of the guide to Fair Use for Nonfiction Authors. The Center for Media and Social Impact also had several blog posts throughout the week.

In Canada, University of Toronto law professor Ariel Katz shared a draft of his forthcoming book chapter, “Debunking the Fair Use vs. Fair Dealing Myth: Have We Had Fair Use All Along?” Michael Geist, law professor at University of Ottawa, posted each day of the week.

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