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The Center for Social Media, part of the School of Communication at American University in Washington, DC, has published the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication. Patricia Aufderheide, the center’s director, and Peter Jaszi, a professor of law at the university’s Washington College of Law and head of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, worked with an ad hoc committee on fair use and academic freedom assembled by the International Communication Association to write the text.

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication is targeted to the work of communications scholars, which draws on the empirical research methods of the social sciences and the qualitative studies of the humanities.

Like their counterparts in other academic areas, including art and art history, communications scholars are often unsure of their rights under United States copyright law. The new best practices give them general information about fair use and describe four situations in which it usually applies: analysis, criticism, and commentary of copyrighted works; quoting copyrighted material for illustration; using copyrighted work to stimulate response, discussion, and other reactions during research; and storing copyrighted material in personal collections and archives.

For more on how copyright relates to art and art history, please visit CAA’s website section on Intellectual Property and the Arts.




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