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Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts

February 9, 2015

This Code of Best Practices provides visual-arts professionals with a set of principles addressing best practices in the fair use of copyrighted materials. It describes how fair use can be invoked and implemented when using copyrighted materials in scholarship, teaching, museums, archives, and in the creation of art.The Code addresses the following five questions:Analytic Writing: When may scholars and other writers about art invoke fair use to quote, excerpt, or reproduce copyrighted works?Teaching about Art: When may teachers invoke fair use in using copyrighted works to support formal instruction in a range of settings, including online and distance teaching?Making Art: Under what circumstances may artists invoke fair use to incorporate copyrighted material into new artworks in any medium?Museum Uses: When may museums and their staffs invoke fair use in using copyrighted works -- including images and text as well as time-based and born-digital material -- when organizing exhibitions, developing educational materials (within the museum and online), publishing catalogues, and other related activities?Online Access to Archival and Special Collections: When may such institutions and their staffs invoke fair use to create digital preservation copies and/or enable digital access to copyrighted materials in their collections?

Social Justice Documentary: Designing for Impact

September 30, 2011

Explores current methodologies for assessing social issue documentary films by combining strategic design and evaluation of multiplatform outreach and impact, including documentaries' role in network- and field-building. Includes six case studies.

Copyright, Free Speech, and the Public's Right to Know: How Journalists Think about Fair Use

February 1, 2011

This study, resulting from long-form interviews with 80 journalists, finds that journalistic mission is in peril, because of lack of clarity around copyright and fair use. Journalists' professional culture is highly conducive to a robust employment of their free speech rights under the copyright doctrine of fair use, but their actual knowledge of fair use practice is low. Where they have received education on copyright and fair use, it has often been erroneous. Ironically, when they do not know that they are using fair use, they nevertheless do so with a logic and reasoning that accords extremely well with today's courts' interpretation of the law. But when they have to actively make a decision about whether to employ fair use, they often resort to myths and misconceptions. Furthermore, they sometimes take unnecessary risks. The consequence of a failure to understand their free speech issues within the framework of fair use means that, when facing new practices or situations, journalists experience expense, delays and even failure to meet their mission of informing the public. These consequences are avoidable, with better and shared understanding of fair use within the experience of journalistic practice, whether it is original reporting, aggregation, within large institutions or a one-person outfit. Journalists need both to understand fair use and to articulate collectively the principles that govern its employment to meet journalistic mission.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry

January 28, 2011

Outlines best practices created by the poetry community for using copyrighted materials in parody and satire; "remixed" new works; education; criticism, comment, or illustration; poetry online; and literary performance. Lists principles and limitations.

Investing in Impact: Media Summits Reveal Pressing Needs, Tools for Evaluating Public Interest Media

May 12, 2010

Outlines the case for assessing the impact of public interest media projects, impact evaluation needs, and five new assessment tools, including a unified social media dashboard, model formats and processes to communicate outcomes, and common survey tools.

Spreading the Zing: Reimagining Public Media Through the Makers Quest 2.0

May 12, 2010

Evaluates outcomes of multi-platform, participatory public radio projects in the Makers Quest 2.0 contest as a model for how and which elements of a public media project's impact should be measured: reach, inclusion, engagement, influence, and zing.

Clipping Our Own Wings: Copyright and Creativity in Communication Research

April 1, 2010

Presents survey findings on how knowledge of copyright issues affects communication scholars' research decisions, access, and publication. Recommends developing best practices standards for the U.S. doctrine of fair use to expand creative options.

New Muslim Cool: Engaging Stakeholders in the Filmmaking Process

March 14, 2010

Provides an overview of the production, funding model, project partners, and impact of New Muslim Cool, a documentary film on American Muslim youth culture with a mission to promote interfaith dialogue. Discusses the role of social media outreach.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare

October 13, 2009

Provides a code of best practices to help those preparing OpenCourseWare -- course materials in digital form available for free online -- to interpret and apply fair use under U.S. copyright law. Outlines situations, principles, and limitations.

Honest Truths: Documentary Filmmakers on Ethical Challenges in Their Work

September 8, 2009

Based on interviews, explores ethical challenges documentary filmmakers face in reconciling their responsibilities to subjects, viewers, and their artistic visions and production needs. Points out the lack of standards and support for ethical practices.

Public Media 2.0: Dynamic, Engaged Publics

February 16, 2009

Outlines the platforms, standards, and practices transforming legacy public media. Calls for the creation of a multi-platform, participatory, digital, national public media network, with policy support as well as public and private funding.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education

November 11, 2008

Outlines five principles representing the consensus among media literacy educators on best practices in fair use -- the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment when used mainly for cultural or social benefits.