Fair Use Week 2015

February 23-27

Harvard is once again celebrating Fair Use Week, which marks "the important role fair use plays in achieving the Constitutional purpose of intellectual property rights in the US: to promote the progress of science and the useful arts."

This event, which was inaugurated in 2014 at Harvard by Kyle Courtney, the Office for Scholarly Communication's (OSC's) Program Manager and Copyright Advisor, is now sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and is being celebrated nationally.

Throughout the week you may follow the OSC's copyright blog, which will feature guest posts from fair use experts; Fair Use Week Tumblr, which will feature fair use stories; and Fair Use Week Twitter feed, which will keep you up to date on Fair Use Week conversations. The Copyright First Responders will be on hand to answer your fair use questions locally, armed with Fair Use Week-themed swag.  You may also explore other local and national events, which will be listed on the ARL's Fair Use Week website.

Below you may find details about upcoming Harvard-based Fair Use Week festivities and read a roundup of the events after the fact.

Thank you for joining us in celebrating the power of the four factors to transform teaching, learning, and scholarship.

Fair Use Week 2015 at Harvard

  • February 23
    • Fair Use and MOOCs at HarvardX (closed to HarvardX staff): Speaker, Kyle Courtney
    • Guest blog post by Kenneth Crews, Of Counsel to Gipson Hoffman & Pancione and an Adjunct Professor in the Columbia Law School
  • February 24
    • Digitization, Imaging, Fair Use, and Libraries at Harvard Library's Imaging Services Department (closed to Harvard Library Imaging Services staff): Speaker, Kyle Courtney
    • Guest blog post by Kevin Smith, Director of the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communication at Duke University
  • February 25
    • Fair Use Case Study at Harvard Law School (RSVP closed): Speaker, Kyle Courtney
    • Guest blog post by Laura Quilter, Copyright and Information Policy Librarian at the UMass Amherst Libraries
  • February 26
    • Fair Use in Practice at the Dudley House Common Room, 10:00-11:30: Panelists, Ellen Duranceau, Program Manager for MIT's Office of Scholarly Publishing, Copyright & Licensing; Peter Hirtle, Research Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Senior Policy Advisor to the Cornell University Library; and Andy Sellars, Berkman Center's Corydon B. Dunham First Amendment Fellow
    • RTL Shares: Fair Use Week Edition in Lamont B30, 3:00-4:30: Kyle Courtney and  the Copyright First Responders
    • Guest blog post by Niva Elkin-Koren, Founding Director of the Haifa Center for Law & Technology (HCLT) and the Former Dean of the University of Haifa Faculty of Law
  • February 27
    • Fair Use Week surprise
    • Guest blog post by Matthew Rimmer, Australian Research Council Future Fellow

February 23


Emphasizing the transformative nature of their pedagogical work, fair use expert and advocate Kyle Courtney held an open discussion Monday with a large group of editors and project mangers at HarvardX. Questions abounded as the topics of third-party material use and copyright were discussed in connection with current debates around content use in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The lively discussion ended with an appreciation for education around fair use and copyright as the need for a more universal understanding of these topics increases across the university.

Guest Expert Kenneth Crews: Copyright, Fair Use, and a Touch of Aristotle

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February 24


On Tuesday of Fair Use Week, Kyle visited the Harvard Library's Imaging Services Department to discuss fair use, the Copyright First Responders, and orphan works. The conversation ranged from the "slavish reproduction" of two-dimensional works to the forthcoming policy that will help bring clarity to the copyright assessments that Imaging Services makes on a daily basis.

Guest Expert Kevin Smith: What Does Fair Use Taste Like?

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February 25


Day three of Fair Use Week brought Kyle to Harvard Law School, where he led a discussion on the School's case study, What's fair about fair use? The battle over e-reserves at GSU. Participants were challenged to both put themselves in Georgia State's shoes - to settle or fight the suit in court - and those of the publishers. From the history of university press publishing to the development of the classroom guidelines, the discussion was wide-ranging. To wrap up, Courtney challenged the group to settle on a compromise that would satisfy both parties, with interesting results.

Guest Expert Laura Quilter: Fair Use: A Virtual Anthem of Empowerment and Joy for Librarians and Educators

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February 26


Thursday opened with our headline event consisting of a panel of experts presenting their thoughts on the latest news, as well as debating current issues, "the good, bad and the ugly," in copyright and fair use. This year's panel included Ellen Duranceau, Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing, Copyright, and Licensing at MIT, Peter Hirtle, Research Fellow at the Berkman Center and Senior Policy Advisor to the Cornell University Library, and Andy Sellars, who works at the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic and is the Berkman Center's Corydon B. Dunham First Amendment Fellow. A lively Q&A allowed each panelist to respond to concerns presented by the audience around the issues at hand.

The second event on Thursday of Fair Use Week invited the Harvard Library community to learn about the Copyright First Responder program and their experiences, both with fair use and beyond. The participating CFRs shared stories from the trenches: Emily Bell spoke to the misconceptions of fair use around campus; Carol Kentner outlined her role as a "portfolio manager" for helping faculty gather course content; Scott Lapinski spoke to focusing his time on answering student questions about copyright and fair use in ETDs and contracts; last, Carli Spina mentioned her work with HarvardX, emphasizing the public domain and open access alternatives on which HarvardX relies. The audience enjoyed fair use fortune cookies and posed questions ranging from the limits of licensed materials and the OGC's involvement in the CFR program.

Guest Expert Niva Elkin-Koren: Fair Use: Rights Matter

Featuring Professor William Fisher's CopyrightX Class

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February 27


As a special close to the week's activities, Kyle Courtney released "The origin of U.S. fair use," an artistic rendering of the codification of fair use into the Copyright Act of 1976. The exemption's creation was intimately woven into the history of Harvard, which readers may explore here.

Guest Expert Dr. Matthew Rimmer: Who Killed Fair Use? A Copyright Murder Mystery Down Under

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Thank you for your support of Fair Use Week at Harvard! We encourage you to follow our copyright blog, and Fair Use Week Tumblr and Twitter feeds for news and event information about Fair Use Week 2016.