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"
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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.
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
HOWTO Make online videos without getting sued - Boing Boing Read the rest
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:
A Mickey Mouse
A Walt Disney Comic
By Ub Iwerks
Recorded by Cinephone Powers System
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
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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:
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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.
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