Every year at the end of February there is a week dedicated to celebrating ‘Fair Use / Fair Dealing.’ Fair Use, as many of you know, is a doctrine in the US Copyright Act that allows the legal use of copyright works without permission of the rights holder, according to four broad fair use factors . In the UK (and many Commonwealth countries) we have the more prescriptive concept of ‘Fair Dealing’ that needs to be considered if you want to enjoy specific copyright exceptions (for example, quotation or teaching).
UK libraries and copyright organisations have not (as yet) taken to celebrating Fair Use / Fair Dealing week as much as our friends in North America, and to be fair [nice work! – Ed] we think this is largely because the majority of the posts and resources focus on the more flexible provisions of US and Canadian law. However, we think there’s lots of opportunity for UK, European and other international copyright literacy enthusiasts to get behind this community celebration coordinated by the Association of Research Libraries and you can also follow and contribute on social media using the hashtag #fairuseweek #fairdealingweek.
As we’re all about spreading understanding about copyright education, and empowering people, here’s a quick round up of the some of the activities that are happening this week in some of the US universities. Do check the calendar for the full schedule and the Fair Use Fundamentals Infographic which we have a photo of below. It would be great to the UK (and other countries) getting on board with this week, in the way the global community comes together to celebrate Open Access week. Some of the events happening in the US sound brilliant and we would love to get a write-up from some of the speakers.
Monday 24th February
The week kicks off with a seminar by Kyle K Courtney at Harvard University and Will Cross from NC State University entitled ‘What happens when Netflix is Dead? How Licensing and Copyright Threaten the Future of Our Cultural Heritage (and How Fair Use Can Save It)‘. They will be discussing how copyright law and the licensing systems that have now become so prevalent for consumer-licensed content, such as through Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes, are jeopardizing the ability of libraries and archives to preserve those works and make them available to researchers in the future.
Tuesday 25th February
There is a really great sounding event happening at MIT Libraries on Tuesday called ‘Fun and Legal: Making Art through Fair Use‘. This hands-on workshop is a chance to learn about your legal rights to reuse, parody, and build on pre-existing copyrighted materials. Learn about appropriation artists who have been sued, and how to NOT be sued for your own projects. Participants will learn to make a book-binding structure to create their own art book or zine using found materials, and will come away with a work which IS a fair use, and an understanding of HOW to utilise their fair use rights in their creative projects.
Wednesday 26th February
On Wednesday at Penn State University Ana Enriquez will be running a session called ‘Fair Use: You Be the Judge‘. Have you ever wondered whether you’re allowed to use someone else’s copyrighted material? Learn about fair use, the foremost user’s right under U.S. copyright law, at this workshop. Ana is from Penn State Libraries’ Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communications and after an introduction to fair use, participants will be asked to evaluate the fair use arguments for several copyright cases.
Thursday 27th February
There is a fantastic sounding event taking place at Ohio State University Library on Thursday run by Maria Scheid. Entitled ‘Bringing Fair Use to Life,’ the session is a workshop aimed at faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students. How can artists like Andy Warhol, Carrie Mae Weems, Roy Lichtenstein, or Richard Prince legally use somebody else’s materials in their own art? Are you using somebody else’s photograph, illustration, text, or video in your own scholarship or creative project? Do you need permission to do that? Join University Libraries’ Copyright Services for a hands-on workshop on the important exception of fair use, an exception in the law that allows use of copyrighted content without permission. Learn how to use copyrighted materials confidently and legally in your research, teaching, and creative endeavours.
It’s always great to hear about novel and fun ways of engaging people with copyright, so if you are running an event in association with Fair Use or Fair Dealing week, we’d love to hear from you! Have a great week everyone!