Monday, May 18, 2009

Fair Use is your FRIEND

I was alerted today by this tweet by Alex Curtis about American University’s Center for Social Media's video release Remix Culture: Fair Use is Your Friend. Sure enough, I got home and found this press release in my email.

The newest video is s a collaborative project of the Center for Social Media—a center of American University’s School of Communication—and the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property—a program of American University’s Washington College of Law—along with Stanford Law School’s Fair Use Project and Google provided funds to Tony Falzone's Fair Use Project at Stanford Law School for its creation. It is designed not only to promote the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use, but also to the video identifies six kinds of unlicensed uses of copyrighted material that may be considered fair, under certain limitations. They are:

  • Commenting or critiquing of copyrighted material
  • Use for illustration or example
  • Incidental or accidental capture of copyrighted material
  • Memorializing or rescuing of an experience or event
  • Use to launch a discussion
  • Recombining to make a new work, such as a mashup or a remix, whose elements depend on relationships between existing works

I think it is important to point out that the Code of Best Practices is one of a collection of codes that outlines best practices NOT just for librarians, or media educators, but for ANY educator who is using media or encouraging students to be media / content creators. Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow just blogged about it yesterday. (While you are at it, check out this Boing Boing Post as well) You can view the video on the Center for Social Media Channel on Blip TV, YouTube and variety of other sites.

The purpose of fair use is to protect a users ability to create and to prevent private censorship. Don't give up that right...Watch the video, and talk to your students about what fair means in a remix society. Take them through the reasoning process, and pass the word!

I will be part of a preconference session at NECC with Renee Hobbs, Mike RobbGrieco, and Joyce Valenza we'd love you to join our conversation.