Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fair-Use Guide Seeks to Solve Librarians’ VHS-Cassette Problem; Chronicle of Higher Education, 1/25/12

Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education; Fair-Use Guide Seeks to Solve Librarians’ VHS-Cassette Problem:

"When the Association of Research Libraries and a team of fair-use advocates surveyed librarians to find out how they navigate copyright issues, many of them described that exact conundrum. But they may soon have a way out. Tomorrow the group will announce a code of best practices designed to outline ways academic librarians can take advantage of their fair-use rights to navigate common copyright issues.

The new code is one of a series published with the help of Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, a pair of American University scholars known for pushing back against the restrictions of copyright law. The duo has helped several professional communities develop similar codes. Brandon Butler, director of public-policy initiatives at the Association of Research Libraries, said this guide is different than early fair-use guidelines for libraries, which he described as narrowly crafted “safe harbors” that had the unintended effect of making it more difficult for librarians to do their jobs. Mr. Butler said this version gives librarians a collective voice that they haven’t enjoyed in the past."

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