Fair Use, what’s fair is more than you know

American University updates media managers and libraries on latest law and best practices on lawful use of copyrighted materials for legitimate purposes.

Russ Imrie October 2013

Lawyers, authors, journalists, and librarians are among the often misinformed on the extent law and practice supports legitimate, good-faith inclusion of copyrighted material in today’s digital environment.

It sounds crazy, but copyright lawyers will, without actually reading or viewing a given complete media resource as to its need to include specific releases or permissions, will just say “no, get permissions and come back.” This is often unnecessary under law and discourages the nurturing intent of the “fair use” principal.

Librarians, out of an uninformed concern of infringement penalties, suits, etc. will decline to undertake a project or advise someone who asks (of course!) the librarian if using a resource or image is ok to stop. Often the librarian at a university is the go-to authority on these questions. This has a wide impact on authors and researchers.

When I continue this post I’ll discuss expert information in this easily-cloned world of media and publications.

Meanwhile. check out the Center for Social Media at American University in Washington DC where guidelines are available for download. Strong on film and library issues, the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic Research Libraries, Code of Best Practices in Fair Use fir Media Literacy Education, and the Documentary Filmmaker’s Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use should be read and used to guide your projects.

l. to r. Brandon Butler ( Association of Research Libraries), unidentified, Peter Jazzi (Prof of Law AU), Patricia Aufderheide (Prof AU School of Communication) - photo Russ Imrie

l. to r. Brandon Butler ( Association of Research Libraries), unidentified, Peter Jaszi (Prof of Law AU), Patricia Aufderheide (Prof AU School of Communication) – photo Russ Imrie

 

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