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Provides a general introduction to copyright, fair use, copyright ownership, copyright for instructors, and useful resources.

Welcome to Fair Use Week!

Fair use week logo- a small blue outlined ring with concentric lines and the words fair use weekWelcome to Fair Use Week, celebrated in February each year! This week, we celebrate the important role fair use plays in giving us a breathing space in Copyright Law. Fair use allows us to use copyrighted works without permission in situations such as commentary, criticism, research, and teaching. Fair usemakes it possible to quote, remix, make fun of, transform, and build on other people's copyrighted work. The flexible nature of the fair use doctrine has permitted copyright to adapt to new technologies and changes. Fair use is a right - not an exception or a defense.The Supreme Court has regularly referred to fair use as a "safeguard" of the First Amendment, allowing copyright law to be compatible with the First Amendment.

While we celebrate Fair Use Week this week, every week is fair use week. Indeed, fair use is employed on a daily basis by students, faculty, librarians, journalists, and all users of copyrighted material. Fair Use Week is a time to promote and discuss the opportunities presented by fair use, celebrate successful fair use stories, and explain the doctrine.

Fair Use Week Events

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is February 24-28, 2020

Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week will take place February 25-March 1, 2019


ASU Online Webinar:

Strategies for finding, using (legally), and citing images in online education

Monday, February 25, 2019 from 11:30 AM-12:30 PM MST. See Details and Registration

In this 60 minute webinar, we demonstrate best practices for finding, using, and citing images for use in online courses. We will discuss real-world scenarios and how copyright applies in order to help build confidence in making decisions about what can and cannot be used. We will also provide an introduction to creative commons license and best practices for image attribution. Finally, we will recommend resources and strategies for finding images.

In person workshop

Copyright, Fair Use, and your dissertation

Tuesday, February 26, noon-1:00 PM Noble Library Instruction Room. See details and registration.

This workshop will provide you with the information and tools you need to navigate copyright and fair use considerations for your dissertation or thesis.

Whether you’ve only begun thinking about your dissertation subject, you’re just starting to write, or you’re getting ready to submit, this workshop will help you figure out what you can use, what rights you have, and what it means to share your dissertation online. Bring your lunch and learn about copyright!


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2017: 12:00 – 1:00 P.M. 

ACRL Presents  “Using Fair Use to Preserve and Share Disappearing Government Information: A Guide for Rogue Librarians

Fair use plays a crucial role as copyright’s safety valve for free expression because it permits unauthorized copying in service of the public good. This role, which enables everything from scathing reviews of artwork to wholesale digitization of books for accessibility, is taking on new currency as librarians scramble to preserve contested government information online. From deleted climate data, disappearing government web pages, and ephemeral political tweets, fair use cuts through the legal confusion so we can maintain the historical and scientific record. This webinar will introduce fair use as an equitable doctrine designed to support librarianship and prepare participants to apply fair use in their own communities’ work.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand the fundamentals of fair use as an equitable doctrine that permits use of copyrighted materials for the public good.
  • Understand the copyright issues surrounding government information and the effects of sharing materials posted on different platforms such as .gov sites and social media platforms like Twitter.
  • Apply fair use in their own practice preserving and sharing digital government documents in their own communities.

Presenters: William M. Cross is the Director of the Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center in the North Carolina State University Libraries. He speaks and writes nationally on copyright, scholarly communication, and open culture. He is also a presenter for the ACRL workshop and a presenter for the ACRL workshop, Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement. Read more about Will in his ACRL member of the week profile.

Lillian Rigling is a North Carolina State University Libraries Fellow, working in the Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center and the User Experience Department. She coordinates outreach, instruction, and engagement around issues of author’s rights, copyright, and open culture at NCSU for students and faculty. Previously, she worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office at the University of Toronto.

View the archived webinar on YouTube.

Fair Use in Scholarly Journal and Book Publishing—publisher, author, and library perspectives

Co-hosted by MIT and Harvard, this live-streamed panel discussion will explore the barriers and issues that arise when scholarly publishers consider whether to allow fair use as a basis for inclusion of 3rd party material in scholarly articles and books, and will consider the implications for authors and the scholarly publishing process. Has the recent increase in fair use decisions in the federal courts convinced some publishers that fair use is a powerful and viable right, while still mitigating risk for their business model?

The panel will include perspectives from a university press publisher, author, and attorney/librarian as moderator.

Speakers include:
Nick Lindsay, Journals Director, MIT Press
Bill Smith, Director of Intellectual Property Licensing MIT Press
Author and Harvard Librarian—Coming Soon, TBA
Kyle K. Courtney, Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, Attorney and librarian—moderator and panelist

All are welcome—and the event will be live-streamed—connect via

ACRL Presents – Celebrating Fair Use Week, “The Fair Use Factors: Their History and Application

The language of the fair use factors has changed very little since the nineteenth century, but the doctrine of fair use has changed a great deal. Understanding the history of the factors, particularly their changing importance, is crucial to making accurate fair use decisions today. This webcast will focus on fair use cases from the last forty years, tracing the relative importance of the four statutory factors and their subfactors. Participants will then be asked to practice applying current fair use law to a series of hypothetical fact patterns.

Learning outcomes:
1. Learn the history of fair use factors and subfactors including commerciality, publication status, and transformativeness.
2, Learn the current relative importance of the four fair use factors and their subfactors.
3. Use this knowledge of the fair use factors to make fair use decisions.

Presenter: Ana Enriquez is a copyright lawyer who focuses on the issues facing libraries, universities, and other cultural institutions. She has taught copyright and internet law in several contexts, including as the Head Teaching Fellow for the online course CopyrightX from 2013 to 2015. She is a member of the Illinois and Massachusetts bars and is a graduate of Berkeley Law and Harvard College.

Fair Use Week Resources

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-two Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.