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Copyright at American University

This guide is to provide a basic understanding of copyright laws including important exemptions that apply to the American University community.

Introduction

The Center for Media and Social Impact (formerly the Center for Social Media) is a research center in AU's School of Communication. The Center, under the leadership of Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi of AU's Washington College of Law, has made a huge impact in the area of Fair Use. Among their many efforts they have produced a series of widely-cited Best Practices reports based on extensive interviews with practitioners in several fields. 

The Center is not formally affiliated with the American University Library though is included here due to their influence on library and university policies as well as authors, artists, and media producers across the country. Their work has informed our understanding of the copyright laws and helped guide our planning.

Best Practices reports produced by the Center:

Report on Orphan Works Challenges: for libraries, archives, and other memory institutions

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in OpenCourseWare

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Dance-Related Materials

Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use

Set of Principles in Fair Use for Journalism

 

Best Practices reports endorsed by the Center though produced by other organizations:

Society for Cinema and Media Studies' Statement of Fair Use Best Practices for Media Studies Publishing

Society for Cinema and Media Studies' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use in Teaching for Film and Media Educators