CODE OF BEST PRACTICES IN FAIR USE FOR ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH LIBRARIES
11
CODE OF BEST PRACTICES IN FAIR USE
FOR ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH LIBRARIES
GENERAL POINTS ABOUT THE PRINCIPLES
This code of best practices identifies eight sets of common current practices in
the use of copyrighted materials in and around academic and research libraries, to
which the doctrine of fair use can be applied. It articulates principles describing
generally how and why fair use applies to each such practice or situation. Each
principle is accompanied by a list of considerations that the library community
believes should inform or qualify it: limitations that should be observed to assure
that the case for fair use is strong, and enhancements that could further strengthen
that case. Please note that enhancements represent what the community believes are
additional practices that demonstrate “above and beyond” efforts to add value to
existing material or accommodate the interests of other stakeholders; such measures
are laudable when they will not cause undue hardship but are not prerequisite to
support a strong fair use rationale.
Some of the limitations and suggested enhancements involve the use of technical
protection measures (TPMs) to help ensure that material intended for a particular
institutional audience is confined to that audience. In some circumstances, the use
of TPMs may be a meaningful demonstration of “good faith” on the part of the
library in question. However, TPMs come in many varieties; for a library’s purposes,
less obtrusive ones (password protection or watermarking) may be as or more
appropriate than, for example, encryption.
Because, in the opinion of some courts, fair use is sensitive to whether a use
is undertaken in good faith, some of the principles include limitations or
enhancements that address broader ethical concerns. While issues such as respecting
privacy and including proper attribution may seem unrelated to copyright at first,
they show good faith and serve the same overarching goals of responsible stewardship
of library collections. These values are central to academic and research libraries, of
course, but it is worth noting that by doing what comes naturally, libraries are also
strengthening their fair use case.
Previous Page Next Page