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Copyright and Fair Use

How Fair Use Brought Dream Deceivers to Home Video

Dream DeceiversA new generation is going to see the fabled documentary "Dream Deceivers," because its director employed fair use. 

Back in 1992, David Van Taylor ("A Perfect Candidate," "Good Ol' Charles Schulz") went behind the scenes of a notorious "heavy metal/suicide" trial for his first film.  Two young men had shot themselves, and their parents sued Judas Priest, claiming the youths were mesmerized by subliminal messages.  The masterfully-edited documentary was a look inside the vortex of moral panic.

It was also a copyright nightmare. Read more...

HathiTrust Decision: Good News for Media That Matters

HathiTrustThe June 10 appeals court decision on HathiTrust advances the useability of fair use, protects innovation and helps makers of media that matters.

HathiTrust is a service of a consortium of more than 90 libraries. 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...

Why Fair Use Is More Dependable Than You Think

Peter JasziLast week, Peter Jaszi--the nation's leading expert on the copyright doctrine of fair use--was asked to testify before Congress on fair use and whether it needed reform. His short explanation, reproduced here for everyone who didn't make it to the hearing room, shows why fair use is both flexible and reliable, given the last two decades of court decisions: 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...