Finding your way forward with fair use: introducing new fair use resources for MLA

  Tammy Ravas, University of Montana; Kathleen DeLaurenti, The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, Kyra Folk-Farber, University of California, Santa Barbara, Kyle Shockey

Fair use is still a very complicated issue in music. While some court cases involving music and fair use have helped establish clear guidelines around parody (Campbell v. Acuff-Rose, Inc), other cases have severely limited how musicians and public understand fair use (Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films). As librarians are increasingly asked to provide support to a diverse group of faculty, students, and community members about fair use, the lack of cohesion in the community we serve and conflicting court rulings have made this task difficult. In addition, there is often a lack of case law to guide music librarians and music library patrons on issues encountered on a day-to-day basis, such as student performance, media and score preservation, photocopying of scores, and streaming rights for audio and video. Many professional communities now have best practices to help guide their thinking about fair use. These best practices have been developed by engaging with communities of practice around how they think fair use can and should benefit their communities. Current best practices guides exist for Academic Librarians, Dance Collections, Visual Art, Poetry, Online Video, Online Courses, and Documentary Film. As of now, there is no guide for music: because the music community consists of diverse, and sometimes competing, stakeholders, it is challenging to identify areas of community consensus that the methodology to develop best practices requires. Existing court splits, listserv discussions, and even twitter can provide insight into areas where the music community has failed to develop cohesion around fair use.

In May 2015, CLIR released the ARSC Guide to Audio Preservation edited by Sam Brylawski, Maya Lerman, Robin Pike, Kathlin Smith. Appendix A of this document is a guide to fair use for music collections by Peter Jaszi and Brandon Butler, facilitated by the Best Practices in Fair Use Task Force of MLA. This document is good starting point for fair use and music, but it only tells part of the story for music libraries. In addition to being stewards of collections, we work with music makers, music users, and music researchers, among others. How do we create a resource that can bolster all of their needs relating to fair use? This session will present a new web resource developed by the Best Practices in Fair Use task force to help the MLA community gain confidence in supporting fair use questions from all members of their community. This web resource will draw from existing documents of best practice to identify similar principles and translate them into music use cases. The document is currently in production and is scheduled to pass both external legal review and board approval before the 2018 meeting. This session will build upon earlier sessions discussing fair use at MLA and provide members with a solid foundation in addressing fair use questions.

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