In honor of Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2016, five ARL member libraries have created videos celebrating the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing—essential limitations and exceptions to copyright that allow the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. Fair use and fair dealing are flexible doctrines, allowing copyright to adapt to new technologies and facilitate balance in copyright law.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Libraries highlights in a two-minute video its collection of Great Smoky Mountains postcards and digitization of this collection under fair use. Holly Mercer, associate dean for research and scholarly communication, notes that the University of Tennessee relied on the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries to evaluate the fair use case to digitize and make the postcards available online. She clearly explains the transformative nature of making this special collection available digitally.
Ann Thornton, university librarian and vice provost of Columbia University, explains in a four-minute video how fair use has contributed to allowing “quality” access to scholarly materials. She discusses court cases from the past year that provide clear direction in allowing the robust application of fair use, including Authors Guild v. Google and Lenz v. Universal Music. Thornton also talks about the importance of open access and why it must act in tandem with fair use.
Texas A&M University Libraries has created a two-minute video explaining what fair use is and how, rather than creating strict rules about fair use, the university libraries has empowered faculty to determine what is fair use in the context of their own classrooms. The libraries thinks of fair use like a muscle—“if you don’t use it, you lose it.”
University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst Libraries highlights in a one-minute video its W. E. B. Du Bois collection as an example of one of its special collections that it has digitized and made available online relying on fair use. This collection is used in more than 30 courses at UMass alone. The Du Bois collection is just one of 100 other collections that are available via the libraries’ digital repository.
Gerald Beasley, vice-provost and chief librarian at the University of Alberta, emphasizes in a four-minute video the balance of rights in copyright. University of Alberta’s impact on Alberta’s economy is estimated at $12.3 billion and Beasley points out that access to copyrighted material is essential to scholarship because of the need to build upon works that came before. He also notes that a “liberal interpretation and application of fair use and fair dealing should be encouraged, especially for universities.”
Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is an annual, community celebration coordinated by the Association of Research Libraries to promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, highlight successful stories, and explain these doctrines. Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2016 is being celebrated this week, Monday, February 22, through Friday, February 26. You can participate on a single day during the week, multiple days, or the full week—publish a blog post, host an event, share resources. Visit http://www.fairuseweek.org/ to participate or find additional resources.
About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.