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Fair Use Question of the Month: Is Public Domain a Part of Fair Use?

In this month's fair use question an author explores fair use and public domain in his push to publish a book that uses several long quotes.

Civil War Photograph from the National ArchivesDear CSM,

I’m writing a book that examines the prose of notable American authors published before and directly after the Civil War.  I’d like to quote, in some
cases, several pages. I'm afraid that might exceed permitted quotes--I thought I understood that 400 words is the maximum. Can you help?

Best, Tom 

How Culture Can Inform Information Policy

Videography, Editing and Writing by Luke Taylor, Natalie Plumb, Bryan Bello and Kenneth Merrill

Visiting Scholar, Julie Cohen

Legal scholarship lacks a framework for cultural practices, and consequently actual user experiences, that should inform information policy. Just as copyright law is configured to encourage the creation of culture, scholar Julie Cohen argues that the regimes governing information access and use need to take into account how the role of culture shapes social practices online. Read more...

Land of Opportunity: Interactive Design and Intervention

Screenshot of LandofOpportunity DocumentaryOne of the major challenges in interactive media confronting filmmakers—or any media maker—is a fundamental question of how to present a story in a non-traditional format. This was the case for Luisa Dantas and the LandofOpportunity (LoP) team, who recently were “struggling to articulate in creative visual terms what we want to do.” Read more...

Harvard Paper Examines Bill McKibben as Journalist, Public Intellectual and Activist

Public Intellectuls (left to right) Bill McKibben, Andrew Revkin and Thomas FriedmanKnowledge journalists play a key role in engaging and organizing publics on the critical social issues of our time. In a paper released March 7 by Harvard University's Shorenstein Center, I analyze the career of writer-turned-activist Bill McKibben and his impact over the past 20 years on the climate change debate. Read more...

Media That Matters at SXSW 2013

SXSWThe assortment of documentaries at SXSW this year was wildly eclectic. SXSW was, most often, their world premiere, and also a marketplace that may put them on the road to a wider public. Standouts for me among those that strive to be media that matters, and ones that I hope do find a screen in a theater near you, in alphabetical order: