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Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2019 Highlights Balance in the Copyright System

Fair Use Fundamentals infographic

The sixth annual Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week was celebrated February 25–March 1, 2019, by 163 participating organizations as well as numerous individuals worldwide. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) organized the event and participants included universities, libraries, library associations, and many other organizations, such as Authors Alliance, the Center for Media & Social Impact, New Media Rights, and Re:Create. Fifty-one ARL member institutions contributed a wide range of resources this year. Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week was observed around the globe by participants in such countries as Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Throughout the week, participants celebrated the essential limitations and exceptions to copyright that fair use and fair dealing provide, allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the rightsholder under certain circumstances. While fair use and fair dealing are employed on a daily basis by students, faculty, librarians, journalists, and all users of copyrighted material, Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is a time to promote and discuss the opportunities presented, celebrate successful stories, and explain the doctrines.

Each day, new blog posts and other resources were produced and shared and institutions hosted a variety of live events, such as panel discussions and film screenings. Daily roundups and additional resources are available on the Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week website. There were 60 news and blog posts, 9 videos, 3 podcasts, 1 contest, 1 infographic, and more shared over the course of the week. Below are some highlights.

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2020 will take place February 24–28. Plan to participate!

Selected Resources

ARL released a new infographic, as it has for each Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week since 2015. This infographic, “How Fair Use Helps in Saving Software,” follows from the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Software Preservation, which was released last fall.

The BYU Copyright LIcensing Office released a beta version of its Interactive Fair Use Guide.

The UCI Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic posted a presentation on Fair Use for Academics.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) adapted MIT’s Fair Use Kaleidocycle and created a version for Canadian fair dealing.

Cambridge University’s Office of Scholarly Communication has a Fair Dealing Fact Sheet for those in the UK.

UK Copyright Literacy released Copyright the Card Game several years ago, but now has several editions, including for the UK, US, Canada, and a Welsh-language version.


The BYU Copyright Licensing Office posted a video, “Kerry Soper and the Far Side” (30 minutes), about producing and publishing a book on Gary Larson’s The Far Side comic strip.

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) hosted a webinar and posted the video archive, “Digging for Gold with Bundles of Sticks: Copyright, Fair Use & Text Data Mining” (60 minutes).

Duke University Libraries hosted a panel and posted the video archive, “The Importance of Fair Use: A Fair Use Week Celebration” (60 minutes).


Ben Franklin’s World dedicated an episode to fair use, “Kyle Courtney, Copyright & Fair Use in Early America” (75 minutes).

Blog Posts on Fair Use

The Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI) posted each day of the week, highlighting excerpts from the recently released second edition of Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright, including: “Artistic Innovation, ‘The Clock,’ and Copyright,” “Green Fog, Fair Use and Creativity,” “Chess, Moustaches, and Fair Use,” “Plungers, Remix, and Fair Use,” “True Tales of Fair Use: Hit Documentary Films

Copyright at Harvard Library also had a new post each day, with guest bloggers Kenneth D. Crews, Brandon Butler, Nora Slonimsky, Krista L. Cox, and Kyle K. Courtney and David R. Hansen.

The University of Virginia Library did several profiles throughout the week, such as “Fair Use: Essential for Audio & Video Analysis in the Classroom and Beyond.”

New Media Rights explains why “Fair Use Is an Indispensable Part of Our Economy and Culture,” including a description of what New Media Rights is doing to support fair use.

Several blogs featured roundups. The Authors Alliance had multiple posts, including this “Fair Use Resource Roundup.” ARL Policy Notes posted a collection of resources from past Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week celebrations. Jonathan Band did a roundup of the amicus briefs filed in support of Google in Oracle v. Google. And Above the Law posted a list of everyday things that rely on fair use.

Both the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) discuss why Article 13 of the European Union (EU) Copyright Directive, which will be voted on by the EU Parliament in coming weeks, threatens fair use.

Blog Posts on Fair Dealing

On fair dealing, the Hill Times published an op-ed, “Fair Dealing Is a Right, Not a Privilege” (paywalled).

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) posted several items on fair dealing, including, “Fair’s Fair: How Fair Use and Fair Dealing Provide a Balanced Approach,” “Where Fair Use and Fair Dealing Is Being Fought For,” and “Canadian Flu? The Doctor Will See You Now.”

Hallie Brodie wrote “A Look at Educational Fair Dealing” on the Quad at University of Alberta.

On his blog Academicalism, Mark A. McCutcheon explains why #FairDealingWorks for everyone, including creators.

Dalhousie University created a five-part series of blog posts on the LibVine celebrating Fair Dealing, including “What Is Fair Dealing?,” “Fair Dealing: Myths and Facts,” “Faculty and Fair Dealing,” “Fair Dealing and Students,” and “Beyond Fair Dealing.”

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise, promotes equity and diversity, and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.