In Plain Sight

Fair Use Week, Day Four: Stream It!

In Plain Sight - Thu, 2016-02-25 07:00

Today I’d like to highlight some webinars and videos that focus on fair use and its importance. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has put up links to five different videos on fair use from ARL Libraries. The videos cover the application of fair use to accomplish specific projects, discuss the ways in which fair use contributes to scholarly discourse, or outline the balance of rights within copyright.

If you’d like to move beyond fair use into some of the other copyright realms, check out the CopyTalk webinars hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy. You can view the archived webcasts as well as the PowerPoint slides. These webinars cover a broad range of copyright-related topics, including important court cases, the Trans Pacific Partnership, copyright information at Universities, fan fiction, music and copyright, and more.

Add a little irony to your day. One more just for fun (sorry, no video!): Sony Music Issues Takedown on Copyright Lecture about Music Copyrights by Harvard Law Professor. When you read the article, you’ll see that it seems a very strong case for fair use, but the takedown happened. Unfortunate.

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Fair Use Week, Day Three: The Four Factors

In Plain Sight - Wed, 2016-02-24 07:00

The Fair Use doctrine in the U.S. copyright law is divided into four factors. It is the weighing of these four factors in an analytic process that help you determine whether your use of copyrighted material is “fair,” or whether you should seek permission for use from the copyright holder. The four factors of Fair Use are:

 The purpose and character of the use
 The nature of the copyrighted work
 The amount and substantiality of the portion used
 The effect of use on the potential market for the copyrighted work

All four factors are weighed when conducting a fair use analysis. For example, if a work is unpublished, it would weigh more against Fair Use for that factor (the nature of the copyrighted work) than if the work is published. Or, if you are using only a very small amount of the work (the amount and substantiality of the work), it would tend to favor for Fair Use.

How do you determine if a use is fair? As referenced in the first blog post this week,  you can use a fair use checklist to help you. Another tool you might want to try using to help with a fair use assessment is the Fair Use Evaluator. It allows you to input information related to the content you wish to use and it will weigh the factors for you. There’s also a nice Thinking Through Fair Use tool from the University of Minnesota Libraries. The nice thing about that tool is that once you’ve walked through the assessment, you can email a copy of the report to yourself; you will then have a record of your fair use assessment should anyone question you later. Also, many groups have developed Codes of Best Practices for Fair Use; depending on the type of use you need, one of these groups may have a set of guidelines and practices that will help inform you when you have a fair use question.


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Fair Use Week, Day Two: Court Cases

In Plain Sight - Tue, 2016-02-23 14:17

It’s day two of fair use week, and I’ve been thinking of some of the court cases that have dealt with fair use. Fair use is for everyone, and there have been some good decisions favoring its application recently. The long running Google books lawsuit was finally settled when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Author Guild’s copyright infringement claim; the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes a more detailed analysis of the case here.

Another important court case highlighting fair use is what’s called the ‘Dancing Baby’ lawsuit. This case is important to all of us; in it fair use was affirmed as a right and not just a defensive position. The court affirmed that copyright holders must consider fair use before issuing take down orders to remove Internet content. Now we can all worry less about having a snippet of music playing in the background when we post a short video to uTube.

For additional information on fair use court cases, check out Stanford’s Summaries of Fair Use Cases.


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Fair Use Week

In Plain Sight - Mon, 2016-02-22 15:54

It’s Fair Use Week! Fair use is an important exception in US Copyright Law. It allows you to use portions of copyrighted material without permissions, as long as the use is “fair.” To determine whether a use is fair, you should conduct a fair use assessment for any copyright protected materials you use in your courses and lectures. To help you with the risk assessment, you can use a fair use checklist. The checklist is an easy way to weigh the four factors of fair use and determine whether you can use the copyrighted material fairly or whether you should request permissions for use from the copyright holder.To learn more about Fair Use, check out Fair Use Myths and Realities by the Association of Research Libraries.

We’re promoting Fair Use Week in the library with webinars and other events. Please join us for a webinar or meet our copyright expert. Bring your questions! If you can’t make it to any of the events, feel free to contact us with copyright questions any time. You can use the form below or the “contact us” form from the library’s website. [contact-form]

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Need to Know More About Mendeley?

In Plain Sight - Wed, 2015-12-09 17:45

If you’re interested in learning more about Mendeley, or need access to help tutorials or guides, you should look at this new Mendeley  Resource Center site:


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EndNote Word Plug-In Not Compatible with Office 2016 on Mac

In Plain Sight - Mon, 2015-11-16 14:08

From EndNote’s website:

“Cite While You Write is not currently compatible with Office 2016 on Macintosh.

We are actively developing a patch for EndNote X7 to fix this compatibility issue. We anticipate this free update to X7 to be ready by the Fall. We understand EndNote’s importance in completing your work and apologize for any inconvenience caused. To support Mac workflows as we develop the patch, we have the following recommendations to help Microsoft Office 365 users continue to create formatted citations and bibliographies in Microsoft Word.

It is possible to have both Office 2011 and Office 2016 on the same computer. If you want or need to install Office 2016, the recommendations outlined below will enable your continued use of EndNote to create formatted citations and bibliographies in your Word documents.”

More information.


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