Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) presents the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries (PDF), a clear and easy-to-use statement of fair and reasonable approaches to fair use developed by and for librarians who support academic inquiry and higher education. The Code was developed in partnership with the Center for Social Media and the Washington College of Law at American University.
“All works eventually fall out of copyright – from classic works of art to absentminded doodles – and in doing so they enter the public domain, a vast commons of material that everyone is free to enjoy, share and build upon without restriction.”
The Public Domain Review was created in 2011 by the Open Knowledge Foundation. It aims “to help our readers explore this rich terrain – like a small exhibition gallery at the entrance to an immense network of archives and storage rooms that lie beyond.”
The collections are the heart of the site. You will find images, texts, and audiovisual materials from around the world.
Check it out!
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is one of the many groups and organizations celebrating Copyright Week. EFF was founded in 1990 and is a donor-funded nonprofit working to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights. EFF champions the public interest regarding digital rights.
Copyright Week focuses on these six copyright issues:
- Building and defending a robust public domain
- Open access
- You bought it, you own it
- Fair use rights
- Getting copyright right
Fair use is a part of the U.S. copyright law that provides some leeway in reproducing or authorizing others to reproduce a copyrighted work. Still, deciding what constitutes fair use and what is infringement is not always clear or easily defined.
Here are a couple of interactive tools that can help you decide:
Thinking through Fair Use – Developed by the University Libraries at the University of Minnesota
Fair Use Evaluator – Developed by the Office for Information Technology Policy of the American Library Association
Copyright and fair use issues are complex … Check out this article about a Georgia State University case that was recently decided (Note: an appeal is possible).
Georgia State Copyright Case: What You Need To Know—and What It Means for E-Reserves
You can learn more about copyright at:
Have you heard about Aaron Swartz? On July 19, he was indicted for “allegedly stealing approximately 4.8 million articles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the JSTOR journal archive.”
The indictment lists this overview of offenses:
Between September 24, 2010, and January 6, 2011, Swartz contrived to:
- break into a restricted computer wiring closet at MIT;
- access MIT’s network without authorization from a switch within that closet;
- connect to JSTOR’s archive of digitized journal articles through MIT’s computer network;
- use this access to download a major portion of JSTOR’s archive onto his computers and computer hard drives;
- avoid MIT’s and JSTOR’s efforts to prevent this massive copying, measures which were directed at users generally and at Swartz’s illicit conduct specifically; and
- elude detection and identification;
all with the purpose of distributing a significant proportion of JSTOR’s archive through one or more file-sharing sites.
To read the complete article from Library Journal, click here.