Events & News @KSL
Fair Use Week: Feb. 23-27, 2015
Copyright issues in the last several years have raised awareness about how our courts, Congress, and international bodies are taking a closer look at limitations on exclusive rights - known to us as the fair use doctrine. Where is it written? What exactly is fair use? What does it do for us at Case Western Reserve University? Why do we need it? Why is it in the news? Fair Use Week 2015 (Feb. 23-27) brings us an initiative coordinated by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) to inform us and also to celebrate the options that fair use gives us in our research activities.
Fair use affects individuals at CWRU because we use and produce copyrighted information in our research, teaching and learning. Using copyrighted works is a foundation for how we build new works based upon knowledge gained from using those prior works. In doing so, we are doing what the Constitution states about copyrights "...to Promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts..." When we apply fair use, we can continue to honor that constitutional premise by generating new works in a respectful manner instead of infringing on others' rights. So that we can continue to advance knowledge by creating new works, we take advantage of Section 107 (commonly referred to as the fair use doctrine) which offers us limitations on those exclusive rights.
Fair use is not a blanket right to use others' works. Often in academe, people mistakenly think that fair use means they can use/reuse copyrighted works as a rightful convenience. Instead, think of fair use as a balance scale that protects both the original copyrights as well as your use of those works to create new research and works... thus fulfilling the Constitution's statement of "promoting the progress of science and the useful arts..."
Fair use is not a barrier to your creative work, but is an exemption you can use to make an educated decision, on a case-by-case basis. The Fair Use doctrine has four questions about you and what you're doing with other's copyrighted works. It can be found on the Copyright@Case site, in the Fair Use Doctrine link. Briefly, for each copyrighted work where you wish to use an exclusive copyright (to copy, distribute, adapt, publicly display, publicly perform) you use a four-factor test, ultimately ranking your answers for an overall result of fair, unfair, or middle-ground. Slightly revising your use(s) can move your final answer from unfair towards a more middle-ground, and acceptable use.
Is the work you wish to use still under copyright? You might be surprised. We list several charts that help you determine whether or not a work you wish to use is still protected by copyright: from a quick chart that is widely used, or another widely respected extensive chart with excellent informative footnotes. There is also one for books published in the U.S. between 1923-1963, a copyright renewal database that identifies those books that were never renewed and are now freely in the public domain.
Fair use is increasingly in the news. Search Factiva, a premier news database on our Research Database list, for the exact phrase fair use doctrine in the last two years. Results reveal nearly 300 items in Dow Jones Newswires, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, The Economist, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Congressional Documents, law journals, and others. The articles cover copyright and intellectual property issues, and issues in corporate/industrial news, movies, books, agencies, and universities.
News about fair use is more common that it was a decade ago, and the legal issues and decisions are often due to new technological uses. In most recent news, this has become a positive factor, especially for libraries using technology for new purposes. Where courts primarily used to rule favorably on "transformative" reuses, we now see evidence and recognition that new research tools have gained favorable court decisions. Libraries have long had some exemptions to preserve collections, but now online resources like HathiTrust, of which CWRU is now a member, have won judicial favor because new digital search functions can serve a population for which the market had failed to provide. It not only serves print-disabled individuals, but its content in partnership with academic and research institutions creates a favorable use that is different from that of the original content.
As Brandon Butler says in his article that discusses a few very recent cases, "It has been a very good year and a half for fair use. In case after case...courts drew a clear line allowing broad and free re-use of copyrighted works for a variety of socially beneficial purposes." We hope the good news will continue, and that you will use your fair use rights in your research at CWRU. [Brandon Butler. "Fair Use Rising: Full-Text Access and Repurposing in Recent Case Law." Research Library Issues: A Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, no. 285 (2015): 3-6]
Visit the Fair Use Week blog for news, calendar of Fair Use Week events, resources for artists, infographics, best practices, and more.
- - - - -
Take part in an "edit-a-thon" to improve Wikipedia coverage of women and the arts
A 2011 Wikimedia survey found that less than 13% of Wikipedia contributors are female. The reasons for this gender gap are up for debate, but the effect of this disparity results in skewed content and the absence of Wikipedia articles on many notable women in history and art.
In coordination with "Art+Feminism," an international campaign to improve coverage of women and the arts on Wikipedia, Kelvin Smith Library will host an "edit-a-thon" to help revise articles that could benefit from edits and expansion. Your input can make a positive change to an increasingly important repository of shared knowledge.
The edit-a-thon is free to attend and refreshments will be served. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop if possible.
For more information, contact email@example.com.
Sponsored by Kelvin Smith Library, the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, and the Wikimedia District of Columbia.
- - - - -
2015 Knovel Academic Challenge: Play for your chance to win!
The 2015 Knovel Academic Challenge is in full effect! For 8 weeks, starting February 8th, students from 340+ universities from around the world will compete head-to-head for points and prizes, while solving real-life engineering problem sets. The Challenge immerses students in a professional problem-solving environment using Knovel's optimized search, trusted content and interact