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In accordance with CAA’s practice to regularly update its Standards and Guidelines in the fields of art and art history, the Board of Directors adopted two documents at its meeting on February 26, 2012, that address fair use of visual resources in teaching, scholarship, and libraries.

Christine Sundt, editor of the journal Visual Resources and cochair of CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property, presented the Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, and Study, authored and published by the Visual Resources Association (VRA) in 2011, and the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries, produced by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in 2012.

Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, and Study

Visual Resources Association: Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, and Study is a helpful tool for educators and scholars who rely on images for teaching, research, publishing, and other academic work. The statement describes the six uses of images that fall within the doctrine of fair use according to United States copyright law: the use of images for the purpose of teaching; the preservation and transferring of images from one format to another; the creation of online image resources for students; the use of images by students in the context of the classroom; the sharing of images among cultural or educational institutions; and the inclusion of images in theses and dissertations.

The statement is intended to instill confidence in the scholarly community by clarifying the many educational and academic contexts to which fair use can be applied. The statement, reviewed by a committee of legal experts and copyright scholars who have determined the accuracy of each example of fair use, is by no means exhaustive on the subject of fair use, and it only addresses copyright laws within the United States.

Fair Use of Images for Academic and Research Libraries

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries (2012) describes eight examples of common library practices that are affected by the rules of copyright and fair use. Because the prevalence of digital technologies in higher education has changed the way in which students and faculty use libraries and offer access to academic coursework, the code urges institutions to clarify and update research database systems and to transfer archive material deemed as “at risk items” into a digital format. The code also discusses the need to reproduce library material for disabled students and faculty without bias.

Like the VRA statement, the ARL code does not claim to cover the topic of fair use exhaustively. Rather, its objective is to expand understanding and engagement with copyright laws for librarians and library users. The code was created through the process of interviewing sixty-five librarians across the United States who represented a wide spectrum of academic and research libraries.




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