Category Archives: Fair use

“Yes, We’re Celebrating Open Education!” Exhibit

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In recognition of Open Education week (March 5-9), the Libraries have created a display to highlight the value of open educational resources at a time when the cost of a college education is at a premium.
“Yes, We’re Celebrating Open Education!” will be hosted at the Scholars Commons in the Perry-Castañeda Library, on view throughout the entire month of March.
Since 1977, the cost of required materials such as textbooks has increased over 1000%, more than 3 time the rate of inflation, and the average student cost of textbooks is $900 a year.
The Open Education movement seeks to reduce or eliminate escalating costs by providing access to free, quality educational materials, so that students and educators can focus on teaching and learning instead of financial impediments.
The exhibit intends to increase awareness about Open Education, Open Educational Resources and how these resources can be adopted and used in our modern and ever-changing educational system.

Fair Use Wrap Up

Thank you for celebrating Fair Use Week 2018 with us! I hope you’ve found the resources we’ve shared to be helpful, and I hope you’ve had an opportunity to check out the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #fairuseweek.

I want to share a few more helpful resources that have bubbled up this week.

Finally, if you are affiliated with UT Austin, you can always request a fair use workshop for your class or your research group. These workshops are usually 30-45 minutes and can be customized to fit your specific use case. To schedule a workshop, please use the Email Me option on the Copyright Crash Course.

Evaluating Fair Use

Fair Use Week day four!

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed some of the fair use resources we’ve shared this week. If you are ready to look at a specific use to determine if it would be considered fair, there are lots of resources available to help you walk through that process.

The Fair Use Evaluator is really great if you are new to doing fair use evaluations. This tool will provide education about fair use along with a walk through of the four factors in a fair use evaluation. The Fair Use Evaluator also offers the option of publishing a time-stamped PDF of your evaluation. This could be really useful if you ever had a copyright owner question your use.

I also really like the Fair Use Checklist developed at Columbia University by Kenneth Crews and Dwayne Buttler. The checklist is great if you’ve done fair use evaluations before but want a reminder about the different issues you need to consider.

Finally, I’ll point you to our own fair use resource – the four factor test. This test was developed by Georgia Harper and is another example of a tool that is good to use if you feel relatively comfortable with fair use, but need to be reminded of all the issues to consider.

Just remember, a fair use evaluation isn’t about getting to a yes or no answer; it’s a risk evaluation. Reasonable people may disagree about whether to move forward with a particular use based on their level of comfort with risk. Some folks have no tolerance for risk and others are comfortable with high levels of risk. The important thing is to be honest in your evaluation and feel comfortable in explaining your decision to someone else.

Fair Use Best Practices

It’s Fair Use Week day three and here’s another resource for your consideration.

One of my favorite fair use resources is the Center for Media & Social Impact’s collection of Codes of Best Practices.

These codes of best practice provide information about the scope of fair use in different disciplines. The codes are informed by research into professional practices (usually interviews with practitioners) and are reviewed by legal experts. The codes are designed to give users a good sense of the regular practice in their field and give them more confidence in making decisions about fair use. The codes are not exhaustive, they don’t tell you the limits of fair use, and they are not legal advice.

I appreciate the codes’ approachable language, heavy use of examples, and references for further study. This is one of the first places I check when considering fair use in unfamiliar disciplines. I hope you find them as helpful as I have.

Fair Use for Nonfiction Authors

The Authors Alliance has created a resource to help nonfiction writers get a better sense of what fair use is and how it can be used. Fair Use for Nonfiction Authors presents common scenarios that a writer may encounter.

They’ve split the book up into sections based on situations regularly faced by nonfiction writers, like:

  • Criticizing, discussing, or commenting on copyrighted material
  • Using copyrighted material to illustrate, support, or prove an argument or a point
  • Using copyrighted material for non-consumptive research

The book also presents a series of FAQs, including “Can I still claim fair use if I ask the copyright owner for permission to use the material and permission is refused?” As a bonus, the resource is published with a CC-BY license which makes it easy to reuse portions or the entire document.

This should be a very useful reference for anyone doing nonfiction writing.

 

It’s Fair Use Week!

Happy Fair Use Week everyone! Fair Use Week is an opportunity to celebrate and spread awareness about a critically important right in copyright law. It’s the right that allows us to reuse copyrighted work in new and different ways; a right that is fundamental to so much of the teaching, research,  and scholarship that happens in educational institutions.

This infographic from ARL does a really great job of highlighting what fair use is and why it is important.

We’ll use the blog this week to highlight tools and resources you can use to help you better understand fair use. You can also use the hashtag #FairUseWeek to be part of the conversation on social media.

Happy Early Fair Use Week!

Fair Use Week starts early at UT Austin. Join us this afternoon for a discussion about fair use in the classroom. We’ll frame the discussion around classroom activities, but the principles are applicable to any fair use evaluation. We’ll also touch on other areas of copyright law that are relevant to instructors. Hope to see you there!

What: Fair Use for Instructors
When: Tuesday, Feb. 20th at 2:00pm
Where: PCL Learning Lab 2
Who: open to anyone!

The Flora of Forfarshire: A publication of historical and botanical value available in modern collections and public platforms.

During the spring semester 2017, UT Libraries and the Billie L. Turner Plant Resources Center worked together to digitize the Flora of Forfarshire and make it available to the public through the Texas ScholarWorks repository.

pic3The Flora of Forfarshire is an emblematic botanical work by the Scottish botanist, William Gardiner (1809-1852), a poet and botanist, well known among the botanical establishment in 19th Century Europe. Published in 1848, The Flora of Forfarshire comprises +300 pages of plants, fungi, lichens, and algae growing in Forfar (Angus) county, Scotland. Since the publication of the book was an ambitious project, Gardiner funded its project by recruiting patrons who were rewarded with folios of pressed samples of representative species listed in thebook, accompanied by taxonomic and geographical information. Most of these folios no longer exist, but one of them, along with the main book, are accessioned at the University of Texas Libraries.pic2
The Flora of Forfarshire has historical and scientific value because of Its age, the adverse economic conditions the author had overcome to publish it, the excellent preservation of the pressed plants in the complementary volume and, the botanical information of a region that has changed a lot since the XIX century, among other reasons. In order to make the book and the folio accessible to the public and providing an accurate and updated version of the information contained in the Flora, The Plant Resources Center and UT Libraries worked in a joint project offering the opportunity to Jessica Wigley, a Museum Studies student to have hands-on experience in digitizing, georeferencing, and updating the taxonomic information of each of the records.pic1 A total of 135 records were digitized and barcoded, 74 required taxonomic update, and 54 localities had their localities georeferenced. Jessica presented her final results in a poster at the conference Botany 2017 in June 2017 and all the products of the project including downloadable versions of the poster, the books, and a spreadsheet with all the information, were uploaded to the Texas ScholarWorks repository during the fall 2017. The Flora of Forfarshire collection can be accessed and consulted here: https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/47236

Post submitted by Amalia Díaz, Ph.D., Assistant Curator, Plant Resources Center.

Happy Fair Use Week!

This week is Fair Use Week and UT Libraries is participating by hosting a Copyright & Fair Use workshop on Wednesday and by joining in the online discussion via social media.

If you want to see everything that is happening around the country this week, please see the Association of Research Libraries’ page devoted to Fair Use Week.

What is fair use?

Fair use is the limited use of copyrighted works without needing to ask permission from the copyright owner. There is a ton of nuance in that sentence and fair use requires careful consideration. While it is complicated, it’s one of the most important parts of U.S. copyright law for people who are creating new works by building upon the works of others.

Fair use is happening all around – especially if you are on a college campus.

  • A professor may use small clips from films or television shows to demonstrate or illustrate a point in class
  • A student may use quotes from other authors in order to expand upon an argument in their paper
  • University radio or TV stations may use small clips from press conferences or other events as part of their news reporting
  • An instructor may share an article or selected reading with their class
  • A PhD student may include images or figures in their dissertation
  • A student group may create a parody of a popular show or meme

If this all seems foreign to you, I encourage to come to the workshop tomorrow (Wednesday) about fair use. We’ll discuss the basics of copyright & fair use and have hands-on “is this fair use?” activities.

The Libraries also has a comprehensive resource about copyright in the U.S. There is a subsection on fair use that gives a good overview of what needs to be considered. And I highly recommend you check out the codes of best practices that the Center for Media & Social Impact has collected on their site. While these statements are not legally binding, they are a great resource for investigating fair use in different fields.