Codes of Best Practices in Fair Use

Game Changers in Copyright Education

Authored by: Patricia Aufderheide

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:

10.4324/9781315637549-8

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Abstract

As fair use becomes ever more embraced judicially, it continues to be a puzzle to many teachers, students, and creators, who fear both legal action and the judgment of peers or superiors. That puzzlement leads, effectively, to self-censorship, as people decide not to risk teaching, learning, or creating. Since fair use is contextual in its nature, providing people with checklists, arbitrary limits, or rules will only confuse them further. And yet fair use is essential to free expression at a time of long, strong copyright. A proven way to lower perceived risk, bring risk assessment into the realm of reality, and permit educators, learners, and creators to do their work has been to create codes of best practices in fair use at the level of professional practice. A community of practitioners expresses their collective judgment about appropriate interpretation of fair use given their cultural and creative practices. This chapter summarizes the legal logic of creating situation-based, community-led best practices codes, the process of development of such codes, and their effectiveness. It focuses on the situations discussed in codes affecting media literacy teachers, communication and film professors, open courseware designers, librarians, archivists, visual artists, and journalists.

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