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Fair Use Q&A

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Dear ICA,

I am currently researching attention and focus in viewing conflict situations in TV news and TV fiction. I want to show college students specific images and videos and use their reactions as data. I want to use clips from news and from miniseries. Do I have any copyright problems?

Thanks,
Conflict Researcher


Dear Conflict Researcher,

Because your use of copyrighted material is part of your research, you may be able to assert your fair use right. Refer to the ICA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research, created by your peers in the field. After you’ve read the Code, focus on Section Three,”Using Copyrighted Material to Stimulate Response, Discussion, and Other Reactions During Research.” It states, among other things, “assessing the response of research subjects to media is an obvious example of transformative use, since the focus of such projects will be on reception rather than on content as such.” Look closely at the four limitations in Section Three on use of copyrighted material for research. Does your practice match them? If it does, or if you can tweak your research project so that it will, you’d be in a comfortable position to employ fair use.

Thanks,
Patricia Aufderheide for ICA

Got a question? paufder@american.edu

Tags:  August 2017 

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