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Copyright Guide - Awareness, Advocacy, Principles of Action


The following sites and resources promote a balanced approach to copyright where the rights of creators are respected and rights of users are recognized.

Copyright and Fair Use Center
Stanford University Libraries provide a number of helpful resources including the Fairly Used blog.

American Library Association
ALA maintains up-to-date information about copyright issues that promote or threaten the balance necessary to promote copyright interests.

Public Knowledge
The consumer rights organization supports balanced copyright.

Best Practices Statements

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video
American University's (AU) Center for Social Media and the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at AU's Washington College of Law, along with law faculty and intellectual property attorneys across the U.S., prepared this code which recommends approaches that "helps creators, online providers, copyright holders, and others interested in the making of online video interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use."

The Documentary Filmmakers Statement on Best Practices in Fair Use
The Association of Independent Video and Filmakers, the Independent Feature Project, the International Documentary Association, the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, and Women in Film and Video (Washington, D.C., chapter) developed the statement in consultation with the American University Center for Social Media and the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at AU's Washington College of Law.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
Another collaboration between the Center for Social Media and the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University, this time joined by the The Media Education Lab at Temple University, this code is intended to help educators who use media in their teaching to interpret fair use.

Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use of Dance-Related Materials: Recommendations for Librarians, Archivists, Curators, and other Collections Staff
Produced by the Dance Heritage Coalition, "[t]his statement of best practices in fair use clarifies what librarians, archivists, curators, and others working with dance related materials currently regard as a reasonable application of the Copyright Act's fair use doctrine, where the use of copyrighted materials is essential to significant cultural missions and institutional goals."

Orphan Works: Statement of Best Practices
The Society of American Archivists released a guide for those wanting to make use of a work which would require copyright permission and the copyright owner cannot be identified or located. It includes an appropriately complex flow chart to help work your way through the process.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Open Courseware
American University's Center for Social Media, along with a committee of practitioners, has developed another code. "This document is a code of best practices designed to help those preparing OpenCourseWare (OCW) to interpret and apply fair use under United States copyright law."

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use and Poetry
The Poetry Foundation's Harriett Monroe Poetry Institute, along with the Center for Social Media and the Program on Intellectual Property  Information Justice at American University and the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, has developed this "as an aid in interpreting the copyright doctrine of fair use as it applies to creating and quoting poetry."

Statement of Fair Use Best Practices for Media Studies Publishing
The Society for Cinema and Media Studies have developed this statement for scholars in film and media studies.

Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use in Teaching for Film and Media Educators
The Society for Cinema and Media Studies also has published the statement for instructors using film and media.

Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, and Study
The Visual Resources Assocation, working with a legal advisory team, has prepared this statement of best practices for instructors and scholars.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries
Coordinated by the Association of Research Libraries, the Center for Social Media at American University, and the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property also at American University, this code addresses eight core practices in academic libraries.

Last modified: May 8, 2014