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Copyright and Fair Use

Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use

Documentary filmmakers have created, through their professional associations, a clear, easy to understand statement of fair and reasonable approaches to fair use. Download this useful handbook, written by veteran filmmakers to help other filmmakers understand some instances where using copyrighted material without clearance is considered fair use.

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Go to: Best Practices in Fair Use (PDF)

Fair Use Question of the Month: Digitizing Historical Photographs

Deer River saw mill. 1910 Collections Online Minnesota Historical SocietyDear CMSI:

I work in a small local historical society, in a place that once was a booming timber mill and paper mill town. I'd like to put some photographs we have online, both to show people some of the holdings we have, and also to get help in identifying people and places in the photos. But we don't know who took the photos, or who would hold copyright now (and even sometimes when the photo was taken). So we can't ask permission. Could I post them under fair use? Read more...

War on Water

Marymount Manhattan College students Billy Shields and Stuart Kiczek re-purpose old copyright black-and-white footage to illustrate a more modern point about how consumers can cut down on expenses by filtering their own tap water at home instead of purchasing bottled water. They use only enough of the third party images as necessary in order to give the rest of the footage the feel of a much older film.

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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]

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