Fair Use

The recent Berkman conference included two time slots set aside for working groups, with about half-a-dozen groups in each time slot. In the morning, I was part of the group on “Agenda for Fair Use.”

During that session, the Center for Social Media at American University came to my attention. One of the things the CSM has produced is the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use.

Why produce a guide specific to a group of creators? One answer is that it’s difficult to draw the boundaries of fair use, and so drawing some lines around fair use in a specific domain may present a more feasible task. Indeed, this approach drew interest and approval from my university colleague Dave Herlihy, who is a lawyer with particular interest in the music industry.

Why documentary filmmakers? You can find a good answer to that question toward the start of the document. I just gave you a link to the document. How easy do you need things to be made for you?

Next thing I know, you’ll be asking me for a video showing Disney characters reciting part of the document. Oh all right then…

The video is from Ithaca College by way of Boing Boing.

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