“Fair Use in Academic and Research Libraries”
Patricia Aufderheide, American University
Understanding fair use as an affirmative, free-speech right—which it assuredly is—helps everyone in higher education avoid one of the worst traps in this area: fact-free risk analysis. Until the codes of best practices emerged, professionals were too often trying to decide how to stay out of trouble without knowing whether they were even likely to get into trouble. And that meant the danger of delaying, paying an unnecessarily high cost, or even failing to meet their mission. Codes of best practices provide, entirely uncontroversially to date, a guide to reasoning that makes it possible to ground a case-by-case analysis in general principles. They reduce friction on the way to making sound decisions that help higher ed professionals get to work.
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