Did you know that American University has a Center for Social Media? (Part of its School of Communications.) They have a great collection of fair use resources, including "Remix Culture: Fair Use Is Your Friend," a video that goes along with the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video, released last July by the Center for Social Media and AU's Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property.
Among other things, the best practices approach is one way of rendering concrete an emerging sense that fair use in copyright law is neither as radically indeterminate nor as toothless in operation as the conventional wisdom might suggest....
The best practices approach is not a panacea, and it is far from costless. Producing these statements and working with gatekeepers to acknowledge them is time-consuming, challenging work. And there is no assurance that if tested in court, a copyright defendant’s reliance on a Best Practices approach or publication would be persuasive to a judge or jury. The hope, however, is that the more robust the set of Best Practices followed by creators in these fields, the less likely it is that litigation will ensue.
Positive steps toward building law that works.