Video helps to quantify "fair"

Video helps to quantify "fair"

Summary: American University's Center for Social Media is working to lend some certainty to the amorphous doctrine of "fair use."

TOPICS: Legal, Patents

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.

As Professor Mike Madison puts it:

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.

Topics: Legal, Patents

Denise Howell

About Denise Howell

Denise Howell is an appellate, intellectual property and technology lawyer who enjoys broad industry recognition for her expertise on the intersection of emerging technologies and law.

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  • I'd worry about people who follow the advice of this video . . .

    I'd worry about people who follow the advice of this video . . .

    Looks like it was written by liberal psychologists who love to pretend the world revolves around sociology.

    It's pretty much an invitation to copyright infringement. And an ad for books.

    A judge will not care about social norms if you get hauled into court . . .

    The [b]real[/b] best practice is simple: When in doubt, ask for permission.
    • Thing is, you're *always* in doubt

      The "best practices" approach is intended to address the issue of fair use being so amorphous. Judges routinely rely on "social norms," standards, and practices to interpret the intent and scope of the law.
      Denise Howell