Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fair Use Too Often Goes Unused; Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 2017

Noah Berlatsky, Chronicle of Higher Education; 

Fair Use Too Often Goes Unused


"Only if authors can’t track down permissions holders, [Julia] Round [editor of the journal Studies in Comics] said, does the journal consider printing small images under the legal doctrine of fair use.

But while publishers want authors to get permission, the law often does not require it. According to Kyle K. Courtney, copyright adviser for Harvard University in its Office for Scholarly Communication, copyright holders have certain rights — for instance, if you hold rights for a comic book, you determine when and by whom it can be reprinted, which is why I can’t just go out and create my own edition of the first Wonder Woman comic. But notwithstanding those rights, fair use gives others the right to reprint materials in certain situations without consulting the author — or even, in some cases, if the author has refused permission...

Seeking permission may seem safe, but it can have serious ethical and practical downsides."

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