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Copyright, Permissions and Fair Use in the Visual Arts Communities: An Issues Report

CAA Fair Use in Visual ArtsThe visual arts communities of practice share a common problem in their confusion about and misunderstanding of the nature of copyright law and the availability of fair use. Their work is constrained and censored, most powerfully by themselves, because of that confusion and the resulting fear and anxiety. More and better work can be done through a fuller understanding of copyright, without impairing the ability of artists and art historians to receive credit for, maintain appropriate control over, and monetize their work.


INFOGRAPHIC: Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries

Infographic libraryARL, American University's (AU) Washington College of Law, and AU's School of Communication released a new infographic that tells the story of library fair use and the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries in a clear and compelling way. The infographic is freely available as a full-size PDF, an embeddable PNG for blogs and website, and a print-ready 8.5” x 11” PDF to print and hand out at events. [SOURCE: ARL.org]


Report on Orphan Works Challenges: for libraries, archives, and other memory institutions

Orphan works pose significant challenges to nonprofit libraries, archives, and other memory organizations. When these organizations seek to reuse orphan works—copyrighted works whose owners cannot be located—they face the perceived risk of costly infringement suits from copyright owners who might later emerge. But libraries, archives and other memory organizations hold many orphan works in their collections, and risk averse organizations that do not make these works available may fail to fulfill part of their core missions of preserving cultural and intellectual artifacts and providing access to users in a format and context that is meaningful to them.


Go to: Report on Orphan Works Challenges

Fair Use Documents

View research and resources on fair use for creative communities including journalists, communication scholars, online video makers, and documentary filmmakers.


Success of Fair Use Consensus Documents

Does the approach of creating a consensus documents, anchored in professional practice, actually work to expand the utility of fair use? What has happened to others who used consensus documents to gain access to their rights? This topic is discussed at length in Aufderheide and Jaszi, Reclaiming Fair Use (University of Chicago Press, 2011), but some specific examples are listed here.


Copyright, Free Speech, and the Public's Right to Know: How Journalists Think about Fair Use

This study, resulting from long-form interviews with 80 journalists, finds that journalistic mission is in peril because of lack of clarity around copyright and fair use.  Journalists’ professional culture is highly conducive to a robust employment of their free speech rights under the copyright doctrine of fair use, but their actual knowledge of fair use practice is low. 


Social Justice Documentary: Designing For Impact

Designing For ImpactThe transition from 1.0 to 2.0 opens opportunities for documentarians to fulfill and expand their missions—not only informing individuals and leading public conversation but also building community cohesion and participation. This working paper aims to synthesize current efforts to develop comparable evaluation methods for social issue documentary films. Authored by two researchers who have been jointly documenting the field’s transformation over the past five years, this paper offers a framework for planning and evaluating the impact of these films in a networked media environment.


Challenges in Employing Fair Use in Academic and Research Libraries

The Center for Social Media, the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) are pleased to announce the release of Challenges in Employing Fair Use in Academic and Research Libraries, which shows how librarians struggle to meet the missions of U.S. academic and research libraries, interpreting fair use and other copyright exemptions. 



So you have a fair use question?

You have a fair use question. Congratulations on exercising your fair use rights, which expand your freedom of expression! Your first resort, when you have a fair use question, is to find out if a community has created a code of best practices in fair use that would apply to you. Here is a list of the extant codes of best practices in fair use. 


Social Issue Documentary: The Evolution of Public Engagement

Hate Has No Home

Documentary films are serving as the core for innovative spaces and practices that mark a new kind of public media – accessible, participatory and inclusive. This article examines the campaigns surrounding three films: Not in Our Town, Lioness, and State of Fear to uncover how emerging strategies for online and offline engagement are laying the groundwork for "public media 2.0."