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Fair Use

Fair Use Successes in Documentary Film: The Most Dangerous Man in America

The Most Dangerous Man in AmericaWhat difference does employing fair use make to a film?

Sometimes it means the difference between making a film and not making it.

Take “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” the Academy Award-nominated film about whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. “Knowing how to employ fair use meant that we could finish the film,” said producer/director Judith Ehrlich. Read more...

More Fun with the Public Domain

A Trip to the MoonIn a mostly-copyrighted world, it’s really hard for media makers to find work that’s genuinely public domain (uncopyrighted), but a new project is making it easy.

The collaborative online video marketplace Pond5 (you can upload your own footage to it and sell it there) is launching a library of public domain content that includes 10,000 video clips, 65,000 photos, thousands of sound recordings, and hundreds of 3D models. Read more...

Just Released: Best Practices in Fair Use of Orphan Works

Best Practices for Orphan Works

At a live webinar on Thursday, Dec. 4, UC Berkeley and American University researchers released a new statement on best practices in the use of orphan works by libraries, archives and other institutions.

Over the last several years, libraries, archives and other institutions have recognized that copyright law poses a significant obstacle to digital preservation of—and online access to—large segments of their collections. This problem is especially acute for archives and collections that contain orphan works–i.e., works for which it is difficult or impossible to find rights holders who might give permission for their use. Read more...

Research Libraries Celebrate Fair Use With New Videos

ARLThe Association of Research Libraries recently released a series of new videos discussing the development, use, and impact of fair use best practices. The videos specifically highlight the ways in which the “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries” has benefited the community, from making historical collections available to researchers online to alleviating the “book famine” of materials available to blind and otherwise print-disabled library patrons. Read more...

Librarians and Fair Use: Take the Big Picture

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research LibrariesCan a library put a professor’s reading list of book chapters and other excerpts from academic monographs on e-reserve for students in the class, without permission from the copyright holder?

That’s been in dispute since 2008, when publishers sued Georgia State University for doing just that. A District Court judge ruled that almost all of the scores of uses were fair, but also set an arbitrary standard of 10% for allowable quoting from academic monographs.

And the publishers appealed. Now an appeals court has reviewed the ruling, and sent it back for corrections. Read more...