Fair Use & Journalism | Making Copyright the Journalist’s Friend

Posted in Home Furnishings, Local journalism, Uncategorized on September 24th, 2019 by Mason Fletcher
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increasingly we live in an information economy and increasingly our leisure time activities are also organized around the consumption and theproduction of information what makes all those information activities professional and personal possible is our ability to make limited but significant use of pre-existing copyrighted materials in our own information activities and that ability is protected in our law by the copyright doctrine of fair use journalism is and always has been a profession devoted to quoting, reproducing and interpreting the social environment the problem these days of course is that larger and larger parts of that social environment are subject to copyright law so without fair use which permits legitimate users to quote and excerpt copyrighted material without gettingpermission the practice of journalism would be becoming more and more difficult every day probably the biggest news in our report onthe problems that journalists face in relationship to copyright was that they are actually self-censoring they are often paralyzed by fear of breaking the law or paralyzed by fear of have getting in trouble with theircompany journalists were deciding to delay to publish their work they were deciding even to not undertake innovative new projects because they just weren’t sure about the law fair use is an important part of almosteverything that I do my job is to find video of breakingnews moments and incorporate that video into stories I don’t know how you could do journalism today and not use fair use I think that fair use is absolutely imperative for journalistic innovation As somebody who is a culture critic, is a television critic, is a media critic I’m always going to established works and commenting on them or using them to illustrate some trends in society for example with some of the media critiques work that I do I think that is really important to be able to call out those examples and to quote them at length The set of principles in fair use forjournalism expresses the consensus of a professional community judges take that kind of consensus document very seriously because it helps them understand what the needs of a community are in order to exercise its generation of new culture so this is a very powerful document in a legal environment in part because it is a non-legal document and it comes out of the professional practices of a community The set of principles in fair use forjournalism is a document that journalists created to help each other understand what the consensus of their field is around how to apply fair use in their work the consensus reach while developing this seven principles for fair use in journalism is expressed in the document in the form of seven principles each related to a current situation journalists face what to do about incidentally captures copyrighted material that maybe in the background for the example of a photograph or video or what to do about using copyrighted evidence to illustrate or to confirm a news point or how to deal with historical material in reporting stories that have in fact a historical dimension and more at the same time a reader of the document will discover that integrated with and essentially interdependent with those principles are a variety of limitations because the journalists believe that although fair use was an extremely important tool for them it wasn’t a blank check one of the major issues here is that journalists just simply don’t know the law and so having these principles laid out with clear situational contexts is incredibly helpful and definitely inspiring to young journalists at my newspaper we have a lot of people who are blogging and we’re all making these decisions in real time you know mostly by ourselves so, so I think a document like this would help us in that sense I hope that a document like this can be something that editors can can stick up for their reporters or writers and report to councel, hey we have this within our rights you know go back and tell the rights holder that we can use this it’s more of a document that gives journalists permission to do their job better instead of limiting them and the scope of the reporting they currently do well so clarity always makes you more confident if you understand where the stepping stones are then then you don’t have to spend so much time and energy trying to figure out a workaround so yeah I think I think these will make me much bolder as a journalist and I hope that it’ll do thesame for others


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