Grateful for Fair Use: Combining Text and Images

This week, we’ll look at fair use cases and learn about their effect on and meaning for the work that we do. Read more posts in our series about Fair Use Week 2018.

Bill Graham Archives v. Dorling Kindersley is a 2006 case about the transformative fair use of Grateful Dead concert posters. Publisher Dorling Kindersley used thumbnail images of seven posters to illustrate a timeline about the band’s history. Although many university faculty members and students are initially startled when I talk about Grateful Dead posters, I have found that this case is useful in discussing a variety of situations in which researchers combine text and images. Continue reading “Grateful for Fair Use: Combining Text and Images”

What Does It Mean to Be Transformative?

This week, we’ll look at fair use cases and learn about their effect on and meaning for the work that we do. Read the first post in our series about Fair Use Week 2018.

A music publisher, a rap artist, an irreverent parody, and a lawsuit—what do all of these have to do with how we use fair use in a university environment?

Watch! Parody and Fair Use: Campbell v. Acuff Rose

Quite a bit, as it turns out. In the last few decades, the concept of transformational fair use ties into the first factor of a fair use analysis—the purpose and character of the use. Judge Pierre Leval’s 1990 commentary, “Toward a Fair Use Standard” in the Harvard Law Review, first laid out the case for transformative fair use. Leval argued that the analysis of the first factor should turn on “whether, and to what extent, the challenged use is transformative” (p.1111). Continue reading “What Does It Mean to Be Transformative?”

Fair Use Week 2018: Creation and Communication in the Academy

Today, February 26, marks the beginning of Fair Use Week 2018; a time for us to celebrate and talk about one of the most useful, flexible, and maddening doctrines in copyright law. This week, we’ll look at four fair use cases and learn about their effect on and meaning for the work that we do.

Fair use is not unique internationally, but it is most well-developed in the U.S., in part because of our need to harmonize the rights of copyright and the rights of the First Amendment. In many ways, fair use is a creature of the law of equity—the law of common sense and fairness. At the same time, its flexibility can sometimes make it opaque to the person who first encounters it. Nevertheless, most of us in the academy, whether we know it or not, use fair use all the time as we write, teach, research, and create. Continue reading “Fair Use Week 2018: Creation and Communication in the Academy”