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Question of the Month

Fair Use Question of the Month: Writing About Art

Image by Florin Rosoga/FlickrDear CMSI,

I've just gotten an academic article accepted! It’s a comparison of the work of two major later twentieth-century painters. I've been able to find acceptable-quality reproductions of the work I'm comparing, but the journal asks authors to get permission for all illustrations. Do I have to get permission? Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Teaching About Copyrighted Art

Dear CMSI,

Next Fall I'll be teaching art history for the first time. I've got some great donations of slides from fellow profs, as well as my own photographs from museums, monuments, books, and websites - but I don't have permission for any of this, and at least half of it is probably copyrighted. How much can I do with it? I'd like to show it in class and put relevant slides up on the class (password-protected) website. Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Exhibiting Activist Letters

Image by Jim Yardly, Civil Rights, Demonstrations, "March to Freedom," Detroit, 1963Dear CMSI,

I work at a community library and we are planning an exhibit on civil rights demonstrations in the area during the 60s. I found some letters from an activist during that time stashed away in our archives. I think the letters would really add to the exhibit, but I’m worried about copyright and the only information I have about the writer is his first name. Is it okay to put the letters on display? Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Can I Use Footage From a Copy-Protected DVD?

Encrypted DVDDear CMSI,

I’ve been playing with some new remix platforms, and I have a really funny video that does a mashup of similar scenes in three recent popular comedies, plus some old stuff from an educational film. I got the comedy stuff by breaking encryption on the DVDs. Am I in trouble? I can hardly wait to upload it to YouTube, but I don’t want to get busted.   Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Capturing Copyrighted Material in the Background

Dear CMSI,

I work as a documentary filmmaker and for my next shoot, we are filming a lot of scenes in a mall and inside a school. I am worried about all the copyrighted content that might be incidentally shown in the background. Read more...