Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week is being celebrated this year between February 25 – March 1, 2019. The annual event provides an opportunity to learn more about these essential limitations and exceptions to copyright that are vital components to innovation, creativity, and scholarship.
What are fair use (United States) and fair dealing (Canada, Australia, etc.), and why are they so vital? Here’s a bit more information from the event’s official website:
“Fair use and fair dealings are essential limitations and exceptions to copyright, allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. Fair use and fair dealing are flexible doctrines, allowing copyright to adapt to new technologies. These doctrines facilitate balance in copyright law, promoting further progress and accommodating freedom of speech and expression.”
According to the Associations of Research Libraries, the reasoning behind fair use and fair dealing is to “facilitate balance in copyright law, promoting further progress and accommodating freedom of speech and expression.” Since last year’s event, many cases and discussions have arisen dealing with fair use. Here is a small selection:
- Costumes and Copyrights: Can you afford to wear that?
- Judge Rules Photographer Owned Marilyn Monroe Photo Copyright, Fair Use Moves to Trial
- Nintendo Files Copyright, Trademark Infringement Suit Against Operator of ROM Websites
- Copyright and Fair Use in the Age of YouTube
The above list is not comprehensive. Search or browse through outcomes of more fair use cases through the U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Index.
A common misconception is that fair use is only relevant to students or those in academia, but fair use plays an essential role in our everyday lives. If it were not for fair use, there would be no parodies, Google, or the ability to quote from a literary work when writing a research paper.
For more information about fair use, see information from United States Copyright Office and the UCF Libraries’ Scholarly Communication Copyright page.
To see what others are saying online throughout the week, use the hashtag #fairuseweek to learn more.