Monday, April 01, 2013

Recent Scholarship on Fair Use

In the latest issue of Cinema Journal (Volume 52, Number 2, Winter 2013), Peter Decherney leads a conversation with three other scholars on academic writing on fair use since 1990.  Joining him are Bill Herman, Jessica Silbey, and Rebecca Tushnet who respond to this introductory provocation:

A new wave of books takes account of the post-1990 landscape of fair use and its impact on culture, business, and creativity. Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola's Creative License examines the mounting restrictions courts have placed on music sampling and the resulting transformation of hip-hop music.3 Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi's Reclaiming Fair Use chronicles and situates the movement they started to create fair-use best-practices documents.4 William Patry's How to Fix Copyright argues that fair use is an important engine for innovation and job creation that should be adopted beyond the United States.5Jason Mazzone's Copyfraud and Other Abuses of Intellectual Property Law details copyright holders' adeptness at claiming rights far in excess of those given to them by the law.6 And my own Hollywood's Copyright Wars argues that the Internet has homogenized fair-use communities that were once treated as distinct groups.7 Significantly, these are works by both media scholars and legal scholars, who are often collaborating on the same texts. Other projects, like the Organization for Transformative Works and its journal, also bring together lawyers and media scholars to think about fair use and its impact on culture. What do you think these books (and others) tell us about the changing character of fair use? And what are the implications for scholars, archivists, and media makers? --Peter Decherney
This article and the texts it mentions/addresses is good way to get up to speed on the current scholarly landscape of fair use. Cinema Journal is available from the Penn Libraries e-resources.

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