What's the Use in Fair Use?
So...What is Fair Use?
In the simplest terms, fair use acts as a defense against a claim of copyright. This act gives the original authors limited control over certain uses, allowing people to use parts of their works without facing any legalities.
Fair Use comes into play when you Google something, read a newspaper or even see pop culture references in your favorite movies and tv shows.
Why is it important?
Fair use makes it possible to share your own interpretation of a work. It allows students and even artists to use a part of someone else’s work without being fined for copyright infringement.
Without this act in place, research papers would be more difficult and time consuming. How? Because you could never quote a source, so that big research paper defending your views on Hemingway…it has no evidence. Therefore, your paper would be rendered useless and considered word of mouth. Therefore, your paper would be rendered useless and considered word of mouth.
Did You Know? Libraries are Protected Under Fair Use
What about the library where you research? It’s an available resource largely due to fair use.
Since academic and research libraries work to enable teaching, learning and research, this requires copying and digitizing. Without fair use and its expansion of copyright privileges, think about all of the materials that would be off-limits for our generation and the generations to come!
Under fair use, libraries and their users (that’s you) are able to copy excerpts for research and educational purposes, digitize works to preserve them and make them more accessible for the print disabled and carry out text and data mining.
Fair Use Affects More than You Think
Although not the most stimulating law, it’s one that’s involved in everyday life. Without it, simple things would be a lot more difficult.
Without fair use, catching up on Game of Thrones would essentially be impossible, because you wouldn’t have a DVR or a streaming service like Netflix. You also wouldn’t be able to check your email, Facebook memes would cease to exist and that GIF you want to send in a group message? Gone.
Want to Learn More?
To help spread awareness about fair use, the OSU-Tulsa Library has created a display and an online guide that has knowledge pieces and books covering copyright available for students, faculty and staff from Feb. 24-28. Stop by and check it out!
You can also explore the Fair Use Week Website to learn more.
Now, go stream your favorite show, check out that book from the library, Google something interesting and breathe a sigh of relief that fair use exists for next time you’re working on a research paper.