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Question of the Month

Fair Use Question of the Month: Facebook Pictures in News Reports

Dear CMSI,

I’m a reporter for a local TV news program. Recently a high school student in my town went missing and we couldn’t decide if it would be OK to use some of her Facebook pictures in announcing the news. I hope this is the last time this happens, but it won’t be the last time we turn to FB or Instagram or Pinterest to get an idea of who someone is. Can you settle this newsroom argument? Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Crowdsourcing Journalism

Dear CMSI,

fine print

I’m doing a story on the use of highly technical language in Terms and Conditions clauses, and yesterday I found a really brilliant example on an application form I had to fill out. I’d like to post the relevant page online alongside the article when I’m finished and ask readers to weigh in on how to make the writing clearer, but I assume the text is copyrighted. Do I need the company’s permission before I can post it or is this a fair use?Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Hip Hop Tribute

Image by garryknight/FlickrDear CMSI,

Can you settle an argument? I work at a local blogging site, and a local hip hop artist just died. We covered the story using a short clips (less than 30 seconds!) of his best-known song, and we wanted also to use a clip from national network news from when he had a fight with another hip hop artist. Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Background Music

Image by get directly down/FlickrDear CMSI, I work for a nonprofit organization that fights racial inequality in public education. I am creating a video about the organization to go in the "About" section on our website, and I want to use a popular song in the background. Would my video qualify as fair use? Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Covering Exhibits of Copyrighted Works

Photo by Vivanista1/FlickrDear CMSI, 

I want to write a blog post about a local art exhibit that’s opening in my town next week. I’m hoping to take pictures at the opening, but I’m sure I’ll end up with copyrighted works from the exhibit in the backgrounds of my photos. Do I have to get the gallerist’s permission for that artwork?

Melina Read more...