Fair Use as Creative Muse

An Ongoing Case Study

Authored by: Malin Abrahamsson , Stephanie Margolin

The Routledge Companion to Media Education, Copyright, and Fair Use

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138638891
eBook ISBN: 9781315637549
Adobe ISBN:


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This ongoing case study is shaped around the core belief that fair use can be creative rather than restrictive. Our programs were developed at Hunter College Libraries (CUNY) with the intent of reaching both students and faculty. It is a small practice of copyright instruction that is focused on transformative use and builds on the hypothesis that copyright and fair use call for highly contextualized teaching environments. The work relies on customized sessions and practical suggestions for creative approaches to fair use in which all participants are encouraged to see themselves as both creators and consumers of content. Thus far, the work indicates that once faculty and students see the benefit of fair use as a creative catalyst in the context of their own creative or scholarly work, the lesson cannot be unlearned. Practical materials are shared in our Appendix so that this instruction might be replicated at other institutions.

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