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cheyenne_h on 02/26/2015 at 09:00AM

Radio Free Culture #38: Wishing You A Happy Fair Use Week with Ellen Duranceau

"Transmitters-5" by Adam Bowie. 2011. CC BY-NC-SA via flickr.

Happy Fair Use Week 2015! WFMU and the Free Music Archive are proud to bring a special episode of Radio Free Culture, a weekly podcast exploring issues at the intersection of digital culture and the arts, for this occasion. 

In this episode, Cheyenne Hohman, RFC host and current Director of the FMA, spoke with Ellen Duranceau, a librarian at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and copyright/fair use expert. We talk about the four elements of fair use, how to determine if your use is fair, and talk about other issues around the edges of copyright, music, technology, and more. For more info, try, the Fair Use Week tumblr, or check out this Fair Use cheat sheet

Check out the podcast on WFMUPRX, or subscribe to the Radio Free Culture via iTunes, or listen here: 

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cheyenne_h on 02/24/2015 at 11:00AM

It's Fair Use Week 2015!

We know copyright is in need of some, ahem, reforms. But did you know that there's some wiggle room built in to the US Copyright Statute? This Thursday's Radio Free Culture will have a whole show dedicated to it. But until then, you might want to check out some of the resources, musings, and more related to fair use! The official definition of Fair Use is as follows: 

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair.

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

But that's not very exciting, is it? Here are some ways that it's generally safe to use things that are still under copyright:

  1. Criticism and comment -- for example, quoting or excerpting a work in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment.
  2. News reporting -- for example, summarizing an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report.
  3. Research and scholarship -- for example, quoting a short passage in a scholarly, scientific, or technical work for illustration or clarification of the author's observations.
  4. Nonprofit educational uses -- for example, photocopying of limited portions of written works by teachers for classroom use.
  5. Parody -- that is, a work that ridicules another, usually well-known, work by imitating it in a comic way.

Here are some examples of Fair Use in action! 

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fair use week, fair use