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Fair Use Week in Review- Monday, February 25, through Friday, March 1

  • Posted by: Kallie Stahl
  • Posted Date: March 5, 2019
  • Filed Under: Library News

Infographic by ARL (Association of Research Libraries)

Fair Use Week is an annual celebration of the important activities and doctrines of fair use in the United States and fair dealing in Canada and other jurisdictions. Participants, like academic libraries, copyright communities, and law associations, write blogs, op-ed, host panel discussions and webinars, and create outreach events during the week to advocate and celebrate fair use.

What is Fair Use?

Fair use is an exception to copyright law that allows the use of copyrighted materials for transformative purposes. In many cases, you can use copyrighted materials for purposes such as criticism, comment, parody, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research. The provisions are what allows us to make copies of articles for class, Philip Defranco to use clips in his YouTube news stories, and the ability to freely create parody songs and memes.

Here are some highlights from this year’s Fair Use Week:

Kyle Courtney, Copyright & Fair Use in Early AmericaBen Franklin’s World Podcast

Kyle Courtney, a lawyer, librarian, and Copyright Advisor and Program Manager for Harvard University, talks about early American origins of copyright and fair use. Not only does Courtney detail the general legal concepts of copyright and fair use but why our founding fathers viewed copyright important enough to include a provision for it in the United States Constitution.

“Don’t Sacrifice Fair Use to the Bots,” from Electronic Frontier Foundation

By Elliot Harmon

The article briefly outlines how in the next few weeks, the European Parliament will vote on Article 13, which is a provision requiring online platforms and communities that host the ability for user uploads (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to install automated filters to block uploads that appear to be copyrighted works. The post details the implications to fair use and creative freedom on the internet.

“Miller Beer-Cam & Fair Use,” from Harvard University’s Fair Use Week Tumblr

By Rebekah Modrak

Artists Rebekah Modrak and Kenzie King use fair use as a tool in their works to challenge and draw attention to consumer culture. Using the “I like Beer” quote and discussion from Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 2018 the artists re-imagine a world in which MillerCoors’ advertising reinterpreted their tagline “Miller Makes it Right” in the context of #MeToo movement.

“Fair’s Fair: How Fair Use and Fair Dealing Provide a Balanced Approach,” from Library Policy and Advocacy Blog

One of the enduring arguments against expanding fair use provisions is the potential impact on the commercial market for copyright holders. This blog post explores how fair use does not completely end monetary market of copyright ownership rights and provides examples of court cases that have tackled what is permitted as fair use or not.

For more information about fair use and copyright:

Article by Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist
Room 233, 610-519-5184, Email:



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Last Modified: March 5, 2019

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