Defending fair use

I wanted to write up Part II of our EuroScience Adventures today, but unfortunately, I didn’t manage to – look out for them tomorrow! However, I came across a very interesting (and, at the risk of sounding pompous, important) video today.

It describes how Chris Boulton‘s thesis was repeatedly turned down for publication because its data contained copyrighted material (excerpts from fashion ads), the use of which should have fallen under the “fair use” doctrine.

For scholars who study media, the internet has broadened research horizons and expanded the reach of teaching and publications. But powerful gatekeepers remain. From academic journals seeking to control our intellectual property to lawyers crying foul when we quote from copyrighted material, we are bombarded with a myriad of confusing and dubious restrictions. In short, the implied threat of legal action creates a chilling effect that impacts us all. Some have pushed back, arguing that our educational activities are protected under the “fair use” statute. But this is a risky game to play. The rules aren’t always clear. And when it comes to fair use, we either use it, or lose it.

Via Open Students via A Blog Around the Clock.

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