What Are Fair Use and Fair Dealing?
Fair use (in the United States) and fair dealing (in Canada and other jurisdictions) are essential limitations and exceptions to copyright, allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the rightsholder under certain circumstances. Fair use and fair dealing are flexible doctrines, allowing copyright to adapt to new technologies. These doctrines facilitate balance in copyright law, promoting further progress and accommodating freedom of speech and expression.
During COVID-19 when teaching and learning are mostly online, many institutions are issuing guidance on fair use. It’s critical to note that the educational purposes of fair use are favored even in nonemergency circumstances, and that Congress has explicitly identified teaching, research, and scholarship as exemplars of fair use in US copyright law. 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.
How to Participate
Your level of participation in Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is entirely up to you. You could publish a blog post on fair use/dealing on one day during the week, or you might host events each day of the week. Below are some examples of ways to participate in Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2021:
- Write a blog post.
- Publish an op-ed.
- Host a live panel at your campus, institution, or organization.
- Host a webcast or webinar.
- Create a video.
- Publicize fair use/dealing on social media using the hashtag #fairuseweek. (On Twitter, you can also follow and tag @fairuseweek.)
- Submit fair use success stories for the Fair Use Week Stories on Tumblr by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Write to your member of Congress highlighting the importance of fair use and how you, your members, or institution/organization rely on fair use.
- Create resources or share existing resources. (See http://fairuseweek.org/resources/ for a great collection of resources developed during past Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week celebrations.)
Fair Use Infographics
ARL has produced a series of fair use infographics that are freely available to embed on blogs and websites and to print and hand out at events:
- Fair Use Fundamentals
- Fair Use in a Day in the Life of a College Student
- Fair Use Myths & Facts
- Fair Use Promotes the Creation of New Knowledge
- How Fair Use Helps in Saving Software
The Fair Use Week website will be continually updated with information, a calendar of events, and links to blog posts, webcasts, activities, and resources.
We look forward to celebrating fair use and fair dealing with you February 22–26!
About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 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; advances diversity, equity, and inclusion; 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.