The mission of academic and research librarians is to enable teaching, learning, and research. Along with serving current faculty, researchers, and students (especially graduate students), these librarians also serve the general public, to whom academic and research libraries are often open. Finally, academic and research librarians are committed to faculty, researchers, and students of the future, who depend on the responsible collection, curation, and preservation of materials over time.
This document is a code of best practices (download as PDF here) designed to help those preparing OpenCourseWare (OCW) to interpret and apply fair use under United States copyright law. The OCW movement, which is part of the larger Open Educational Resources (OER) movement, was pioneered in 2002, when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched its OpenCourseWare initiative, making course materials available in digital form on a free and open basis to all.
This document is a code of best practices that helps educators using media literacy concepts and techniques to interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances—especially when the cultural or social benefits of the use are predominant. It is a general right that applies even in situations where the law provides no specific authorization for the use in question—as it does for certain narrowly defined classroom activities.
This guide identifies five principles that represent the media literacy education community’s current consensus about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials, wherever and however it occurs: in K–12 education, in higher education, in nonprofit organizations that offer programs for children and youth, and in adult education.