the future of libraries in the digital age
I think that after attending this conference three times that I am starting to get a better feel for Fair Use Analysis.
Not that you couldn't do that after going to just one, but there are so many questions to ask that it takes some time to get a handle on where to start.
That is the great thing about this conference. It gives you the information you need to start doing your own Fair Use analysis.
What strikes me is that evaluation of the myriad factors that can be taken into consideration is so much like the study of philosophy. Lots of questions and seemingly few answers.
Thankfully we have a final authority to appeal to. I am not referring to a deity here, but the worthy Justices of the Supreme Court and the hallowed lines of our Constitution. However, appealing to the highest court is not simple and happens less often than our everyday questions necessitate, and thus we are left with the guidelines and exceptions provided by Fair Use to guide our judgements in these matters.
Again, I have come out of this with a feeling that the most importance aspects of interpreting copyright law in our profession fall under due diligence, conducting a thorough fair use analysis, and then making the best possible choice you can after asking all the questions you can think of. I also think that taking some calculated chances, after doing the above, are necessary to be able to use anything AT ALL. Fair Use is there for our benefit and if we didn't use it most copyright owners would never officially allow us to comment on, parody, or utilize their work in many of the ways necessary in research and higher education. You just have to make sure you are actually doing the FU Analysis instead of just assuming that it's okay since you work in education.
You can read my notes and commentary in order by using these links: