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Fair Use, Intellectual Property, and Copyright in the Digital Age: Fair Use

What is mine? What is yours? An update.


What is considered "fair use" of the intellectual property created by faculty or used by them in teaching and research?   What are the copyright consequences of transforming printed work into digital formats?  This page provides links to some current research on the transition to digital publishing as it pertains to the academic community.

What is Fair Use?

The American University's  Center for Social Media  provides an excellent overview  of fair use and libraries  with "Frequently asked questions"  for professors, students and librarians.   The downloading of their articles, videos, and slideshows is encouraged. A link is provided to the current standard for higher education that they produced along with the Association of Reserach Libraries, the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries

Library Digitization, Copyright and Fair Use: Road Map . slides by Jennifer Urban. Presented at Bowling Green University (OH) at the Fair Use and Digitzation Workshop.  May 2013

Assessing Benefits vs Risk of Digitization

To determine the benefits and risks of  digitization of intellectual property,the presenters of the Fair Use workshop at Bowling Green University(OH) suggest:

Risk Assessment. slides by David Hansen

Smith, Kevin L. "Copyright Risk Management: Principles and Strategies for Large-Scale Digitization Projects in Special Collections." Research Library Issues no. 279 (June 2012): 17-24. available for download at:

OCLC. "Well-intentioned Practice for Putting Digitized Collections of Unpublished Materials Online." October 2011. available for download at:

Brown, Laura Clark, Judy Ruttenberg, and Kevin L. Smith. The Triangle Research Library Network's Intellectual Property Rights Strategy for Digitization of Modern Manuscripts. Triangle Research Library Network, 2011. available for download at:

What are Orphan Works?

Orphan works refers to the many intellectual  properties that a clear copyright can not be established.   The presenters of the Bowling Green Fair Use workshop suggest:

Urban, Jennifer, and David Hansen. Report on Orphan Works Challenges: For Libraries, Archives, and Other Memory Institutions. Berkeley, CA: Center for Social Media, 2013. available for download:

Urban, Jennifer. How Fair Works Can Help Solve the Orphan Works Problem. Social Science Research Network, 2013. available for download:

 Urban, Jennifer, and Anthony Falzone. Demystifying Fair Use: The Gift of the Center for Social Media Statements of Best Practices. Social Science Research Network, 2010. available for download: