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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.

Fair Use and User Generated Content

This week is Fair Use/Fair Dealing 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 Copyright at Harvard Library*

In keeping with tradition, ARL has released a new infographic in celebration of Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week.  While I’m a big fan of all of our past infographics (Fair Use FundamentalsFair Use in the Day in the Life of College Student and Fair Use Myths and Facts), here’s what I love about this year’s infographic, Fair Use Promotes the Creation of New Knowledge: it reminds us that fair use isn’t just about someone using existing information, but about relying on it for new creations. Fair use facilitates all types of new knowledge, from news reporting to the creation of innovative technological products, to scholarship.

Screenshot 2018-02-25 19.08.46

In the digital environment, in particular, creating new high-quality content and disseminating it widely has become easier.  User-generated content is highly popular and often relies on fair use.  While the Fair Use Promotes the Creation of New Knowledgeinfographic contains several different examples of the type of new information and culture that fair use enables, I want to highlight some great examples of user-generated content, such as fan fiction, remix songs and mashup videos.

One of my favorite examples is this video by Movie Remixer on Youtube which mashes up 66 movie dance scenes from 60 different movies with Justin Timberlake’s 2016 song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”  The clips are from a very diverse set of movies, ranging from old musicals like Singin’ in the Rain and the King and I, to classics like The Red Shoes and Babes in Arms, to more recent Academy Award Best Picture Winners like Slumdog Millionaire and Silver Linings Playbook, to 1990s comedies like Mrs. Doubtfire and The Mask.  The mashup is highly creative and what I found to be particularly impressive was that it uses so many movies that have nothing to do with dancing and that the user/creator didn’t speed or slow down any of the clips to fit the rhythm of the song.

Here’s another excellent mashup, entitled “Mean Disney Girls,” which uses dialogue from the 2004 movie Mean Girls and merges it with clips featuring Disney princesses from CinderellaSleeping BeautyThe Little Mermaid and others.  In an example of mashups that go viral, this video has more than 13 million views on YouTube.

User generated content is so popular on YouTube that back in 2015, a Google blog post noted that, “More than 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute,” including videos relying on fair use.  Because content on the web is often the subject of DMCA takedowns, even if the work is fair use, that same blog post announced:

YouTube will now protect some of the best examples of fair use on YouTube by agreeing to defend them in court if necessary.  We are offering legal support to a handful of videos that we believe represent clear fair uses which have been subject to DMCA takedowns.  With approval of the video creators, we’ll keep the videos live on YouTube in the U.S., feature them in the YouTube Copyright Center as strong examples of fair use, and cover the cost of any copyright lawsuits brought against them.

While the Ninth Circuit has found that copyright holders must consider fair use in issuing takedown notices in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., also known as the “dancing baby” case, with automated takedown notices being issued by corporate rightholders, this many not always be the case.

This year, during Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week, I’m celebrating all of the great new works we benefit from thanks to fair use.

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.