The Center for Social Media just released the above video, Remix Culture: Fair Use Is Your Friend, to help illustrate the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video, that was released in July 2008. While I’m glad that there are best practices that address the interests of other communities, having a best practice guide for remix culture is so important — considering the community is so diverse and diffuse!
The video identifies six types of potential fair use :
- Commenting or critiquing of copyrighted material
- Use for illustration or example
- Incidental or accidental capture of copyrighted material
- Memorializing or rescuing of an experience or event
- Use to launch a discussion
- Recombining to make a new work, such as a mashup or a remix, whose elements depend on relationships between existing works
The Fair Use Code is one of the “best practices” created by the Center, including:
- the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use (2005)
- Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in Media Literacy Education (2008)
There are other best practices guides including:
- Dance Heritage Coalition’s Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use of Dance-related Materials: Recommendations for Librarians, Archivists, Curators, and Other Collections Staff (2009)
- Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ Best Practices in Teaching for Film and Media Educators (2007)
While the best practices can’t state something is or is not fair use definitively, by offering guidelines these best practices help people who are being creative understand what are the reasonable limits of fair use. One of the advantages of the best practices is that they are limited to within communities, thereby allowing the best practices to be based on how people actually use materials within their community. But the best practices are not only for those in the community, but also for outsiders who set limits on distribution of created works, such as insurance companies (documentarians!) and ISPs (responses to takedowns).
And if you want a snapshot of remix culture from about two years ago, take a look at this video by the Center for Social Media!