Fair Use/Fair Dealing week is an international celebration of exceptions in copyright laws that allow for certain uses of copyrighted material in order to encourage new art and creativity. Fair use week runs from February 21–25, 2022 and was originally supported by the Association of Research Libraries.
“Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines.”
U.S. Copyright law describes fair use as a non-infringing use of a work in certain contexts, like education, criticism, comment, and news reporting that is made in consideration of four factors:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or educational purposes.
- The nature of the copyrighted work.
- The amount and sustainability of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
- The effect of the use upon the market for, or value of, the original.
The fair use exception in U.S. Copyright law is purposefully written to allow for many different types of uses. This can make it seem vague and is why fair use is considered an argument until it is proven in court. There are fair uses that we see every day that are either accepted on a large scale, like making small quotes with citation from sources in research, or proven in court, like certain appropriation art where existing art is used by artists as a building block or collage piece for a new work.
Fair use is used by libraries as well when providing services or creating exhibits that provide access and context to archival collections, like the USF Libraries’ Primary Source History Hub.