Monday, February 6, 2012

Brainstorm: Journalists and Fair Use

Monday, February 06, 2012

January was a big month for free speech and online press freedoms, in light of the strong responses to the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP (or PIPA) bills.

A group of 30 journalists convened in D.C. on Jan. 20, 2012, to discuss new research by The Center for Social Media (CSM) at American University on how fair use and copyright policies impact professional standards in digital journalism.

Fair use, according to lead researchers Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, is the right for journalists to quote copyright material (in some circumstances) without permission or payment. Two questions are key in determining whether source material passes the fair use test:

1. Is the new use of copyrighted material “transformative” (i.e. reusing for a new purposes rather than repeating the use for which there is an existing market?)
2. And if so, is the amount used appropriate (even if it’s 100 percent) to the new use?

CSM performed a scan of current standards and practices in U.S. news organizations, including newspapers, magazines, broadcast news outlets, blogs and aggregators. It also conducted interviews with 80 journalists regarding their fair-use practices.

The preliminary results of the research, supported by a McCormick Foundation grant, identified a need for better shared understanding of fair use within journalistic practice, including original reporting, aggregation, within large institutions or in an one-person operation.

Participants at the convening discussed ways to engage different journalistic communities in better exercising fair use.

Download the Center for Social Media’s Journalists & Fair Use report.

Have you come across a fair use issue in your journalistic work? Have ideas on how to help the next generation of journalists build a better understanding of free press issues?  Let us know what you think.

0 Responses to “Brainstorm: Journalists and Fair Use”

Post a Comment