"peter Jaszi"

The Past and Future of The Internet: A Symposium for John Perry Barlow

The Duke Law and Technology Review has released a special edition dedicated to examining the legal and philosophical legacy of John Perry Barlow: co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; junior lyricist for the Grateful Dead; biofuel entrepreneur; philosopher; poet; hacker Zelig; and driven, delightful weirdo. Read the rest

Best practices for fair use in libraries

Pat Aufderheide sez,

When is it OK for me to put copyrighted material on e-reserves for students?

I've got an ancient VHS and the company that made it is defunct. Can I copy it to DVD for a prof's class?

A student's thesis analyzes advertisements and includes some of them. Can I put the thesis in our digital institutional repository?

Academic and research librarians can employ their fair use rights to make such decisions, and now they have a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use to help them decide what's appropriate. Librarians developed this code under the aegis of the Association of Research Libraries and with funding from the Mellon Foundation in sessions over the course of two years, in locations around the country. Legal scholar Peter Jaszi (Washington College of Law, American University) and communication scholar Patricia Aufderheide, who have facilitated several codes of best practices in fair use, also participated.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries

(Thanks, Pat!) Read the rest

Fair use for poets, demystified

Pat from American University's Center for Social Media sez, "We're excited to announce the launch of a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry, cofacilitated by WCL-AU's Peter Jaszi, UCB's Jennifer Urban, Kate Coles from the Poetry Foundation, and Center for Social Media's Pat Aufderheide. The hashtag is #fairusepoetry"

Why would poets need fair use? Consider:

Mark Taylor has been asked by a major press to assemble a collection of the essays on poetry he has written over the years and add several more to make a book. He can't decide what selections he needs to license, and which ones he can use under fair use. If he licensed everything, he would be paying thousands of dollars more than he would ever see in royalties.

Julie Blake decides to do erasures--taking words out of existing poems, and so making new ones--of the poems from her own collection of sonnets. She thinks the new work is both an evolution from and a critique of her earlier work. When she places the collection with a new publisher, the publisher of the sonnets claims copyright infringement. Does she have a fair use claim to do what she did?

Kurt Flanagan is a collage poet, making poems out of bits and pieces of existing work. His new work addresses war in the first decade of the 21st century. His book-length collage poem draws on news sources and also on literary sources, including but not limited to poetry. One of the poets whose work has been used in fragments sues for copyright infringement.

Read the rest

Video explains fair use for video (video video)

Making a video and hoping not to get sued? Check out American University's Center for Social Media Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video, now with video explanation:

American University's Center for Social Media and AU Washington College of Law's Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, in collaboration with Stanford Law School's Fair Use Project, are launching a new video explaining how online video creators can make remixes, mashups, and other common online video genres with the knowledge that they are staying within copyright law.

The video, titled Remix Culture: Fair Use Is Your Friend , explains the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video , a first of its kind document--coordinated by AU professors Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi--outlining what constitutes fair use in online video. The code was released July 2008.

"This video lets people know about the code, an essential creative tool, in the natural language of online video. The code protects this emerging zone from censorship and self-censorship," said Aufderheide, director of the Center for Social Media and a professor in AU's School of Communication. "Creators, online video providers, and copyright holders will be able to know when copying is stealing and when it's legal."

Fair Use and Online Video

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video

Previously: HOWTO Make online videos without getting sued - Boing Boing Read the rest

Are images of the early Mickey Mouse still copyrighted?

The LA Times's Joseph Menn has a great, well-researched feature article on the history of the copyright for the image of Mickey Mouse as portrayed in the earliest Disney cartoons -- and the theory that Disney made mistakes early on with its copyright registration, placing images of that specific Mickey (not the Mickey we know today) in the public domain. Prominent legal scholars like Peter Jaszi agree, but who will shell out the millions in legal fees to prove it? After all, the company's already threatened legal action against law-students who publish papers investigating the question!

Brown went searching for flawed formalities -- and found one. It was on the title card at the beginning of a "Steamboat Willie" cartoon that had just been rereleased on a 1993 LaserDisc honoring Mickey's 65th birthday. It said in full:

"Disney Cartoons


A Mickey Mouse

Sound Cartoon

Steamboat Willie

A Walt Disney Comic

By Ub Iwerks

Recorded by Cinephone Powers System

Copyright MCMXXIX."


The authoritative legal treatise "Nimmer on Copyright" says that a copyright is void if multiple names create uncertainty, and courts have agreed. In 1961, a federal judge in Massachusetts cited the "accompanied by" rule in throwing out a copyright claim by newspaper cartoonist Art Moger. Moger's name was included in the title above his panels, but the name of another artist ran inside the boxes.

Disney's rights to young Mickey Mouse may be wrong

(Thanks, Xeni!) Read the rest

Why we cut-and-paste video -- study

Kembrew sez,

American University Professors Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi -- who were behind the very successful Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use -- just released a new study that focuses on user generated video content. The study, titled "Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video," will be presented and discussed on Monday, Jan. 7 at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show. This report finds that many online videos creatively use copyrighted materials in ways that are eligible for fair use consideration under copyright law. In short, they are potentially using copyrighted material legally. These uses—an exercise of freedom-of-speech rights--are currently threatened by anti-piracy measures online.

Researchers in the Washington College of Law and School of Communication followed thousands of links for videos on 75 online video platforms and discovered nine popular kinds of use (extensive database of examples at centerforsocialmedia.org/recutvideos). They are:

1. Parody and satire: Copyrighted material used in spoofing of popular mass media, celebrities or politicians (Baby Got Book)

2. Negative or critical commentary: Copyrighted material used to communicate a negative message (Metallica Sucks)

3. Positive commentary: Copyrighted material used to communicate a positive message (Steve Irwin Fan Tribute)

4. Quoting to trigger discussion: Copyrighted material used to highlight an issue and prompt public awareness, discourse (Abstinence PSA on Feministing.com)

5. Illustration or example: Copyrighted material used to support a new idea with pictures and sound (Evolution of Dance)

6. Incidental use: Copyrighted material captured as part of capturing something else (Prisoners Dance to Thriller)


Read the rest

Free legal representation for fair-use filmmakers

Documentary film-makers are often hobbled by copyright -- the insurers and studios won't let them release their movies until every single copyrighted component is licensed, no matter that they're clearly legal fair use. American University’s Center for Social Media released the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use tries to appress this by helping insurers and filmmakers understand what is, and isn't fair use.

Now, Stanford's Fair Use Project has announced that it will provide free legal services to films that follow the guidelines:

As reported just over a year ago, American University’s Center for Social Media released the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use. This fantastic report outlines principles to guide filmmakers in the fair use of copyrighted material in their films. It was an important step towards helping to clarify this unruly area of the law.

Working with Media/Professional, and Michael Donaldson, the Fair Use Project has now found a way to insure films that follow the Best Practices guidelines. For films that are certified to have followed the Best Practices guidelines, Media/Professional will provide a special (read: much lower cost) policy; Stanford’s Fair Use Project will provide pro bono legal services to the film. If we can’t provide pro bono services, then Michael Donaldson’s firm will provide referrals to a number of media lawyers who will provide representation at a reduced rate. Either way, filmmakers will be able to rely upon “fair use” in the making of their film. The Fair Use Project and Donaldson will defend the filmmakers if their use is challenged.

Read the rest

Fair use is a right AND a defense

The entertainment companies often tell us that "fair use isn't a right, it's a defense." It's techincally true, but legally disingenous. As my cow-orker Fred Von Lohmann noted today in a mailing list post, "I've heard Peter Jaszi say on several occasions (and more eloquently), First Amendment is like fair use, technically invoked as a defense in court, but that doesn't stop us from talking about our *right* to free speech." Read the rest