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Tweet questions about fair use and media resources

Next week is Fair Use Week so let’s celebrate with a copyright tweetchat on Twitter. On February 25th from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern), legal expert Brandon Butler will be our primary “chatter” on fair use.

Eastern BluebirdThere are few specific copyright exceptions that libraries and educational institutions can rely on that deal specifically with media, so reliance on fair use is often the only option for limiting copyright when necessary. The wide array of media formats both analog and digital, the widespread availability of media content, the importance of media in the teaching and research, in addition to advances in computer technologies and digital networks were unheard of in the 1960-70s when Congress drafted the current copyright law.

But Congress recognized that a flexible exception like fair use would be an important user exception especially in times of dramatic change. Fair use can address the unexpected copyright situation that will occur in the future. Particularly with media, it’s a whole new world.

The tweetchat will address concerns like the following:

  • Can I make a digital copy of this video?
  • When is a public performance public?
  • When can I break digital rights technology on DVDs?
  • Is the auditorium a classroom?
  • How can libraries preserve born-digital works acquired via a license agreement?
  • And my favorite: What about YouTube? What can we do with YouTube?

Ask Brandon Butler your media question. Participate in the Twitter tweetchat by using #videofairuse on February 25, 2015, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST.

Brandon Butler has plenty experience with fair use. He is a Practitioner-in-Residence at American University’s Washington College of Law, where he supervises student attorneys in the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic and teaches about copyright and fair use. Brandon is the co-facilitator, with Peter Jaszi and Patricia Aufderheide, of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries, a handy guide to thinking clearly about fair use published by the Association of Research Libraries and endorsed by all the major library associations, including the American Library Association (ALA).

Special thanks to Laura Jenemann for planning this event. Laura is Media Librarian and Liaison Librarian, Film Studies and Dance, at George Mason University, VA. She is also the current Chair of ALA’s Video Round Table.

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Carrie Russell

As of November 2018, District Dispatch is no longer being updated. It is now being archived for future use. Please visit for the latest news.


  1. […] are interested in copyright laws surrounding digital media and videos, on Wednesday, February 25th legal expert Brandon Butler will answer questions from 3PM-4PM EST in a TweetChat – #videofairuse on Twitter. Follow […]

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