It’s Copyright Week, a series of actions and discussions supporting key principles that should guide copyright policy. Every day this week, various groups are taking on different elements of the law, and addressing what’s at stake, and what we need to do to make sure that copyright promotes creativity and innovation! Today’s topic is “Fair Use Rights: For copyright to achieve its purpose of encouraging creativity and innovation, it must preserve and promote ample breathing space for unexpected and innovative uses.”
Mark your calendars! Fair Use Week 2015—a community celebration of fair use coordinated by the Association of Research Libraries—will take place February 23–27.
What is Fair Use Week?
Each day teachers teach, students learn, researchers advance knowledge, and consumers access copyrighted information due to exemptions in the Copyright Act, such as fair use. Fair use allows the use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. For libraries, educational institutions, and the public, the fair use doctrine is the most important limitation on the rights of the copyright owner—the “safety valve” of US copyright law.
Fair Use Week is an annual celebration of the doctrine of fair use and the important role this limitation on copyright plays in achieving the Constitutional purpose of intellectual property rights: to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. The flexible nature of the fair use doctrine has permitted copyright to adapt to new technologies and changes.
While Fair Use Week 2015 will be celebrated February 23–27, we believe that every week is fair use week. Indeed, fair use is employed on a daily basis by students, faculty, librarians, journalists, and all users of copyrighted material. Fair Use Week is simply a time to promote and discuss the opportunities presented by fair use, celebrate successful fair use stories, and explain the doctrine.
When is Fair Use Week?
Fair Use Week 2015 will take place from Monday, February 23, through Friday, February 27. People can participate on a single day during the week, multiple days, or the full week.
How can I participate in Fair Use Week?
The level of participation in Fair Use Week is entirely up to each participant. Some will publish a blog post on fair use on one day during the week, while others might host events each day of the week. Below are some examples of ways to participate in Fair Use Week 2015:
- Write a blog post on fair use.
- Publish an op-ed.
- Host a live panel on fair use at your campus, institution, or organization.
- Host a webcast or webinar.
- Create a video about fair uses.
- Publicize fair use on social media using the hashtag #fairuseweek2015.
(On Twitter, you can also follow and tag @fairuseweek.)
- Submit fair use success stories for the Fair Use Weekblog on Tumblr.
We hope you will consider participating in Fair Use Week 2015!