Fair use in publishing: A Society for Cinema & Media Studies Report

Jason Mittell's picture

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m on the SCMS Public Policy Committee and one of our main initiatives is to draft formal policy statements on how cinema & media scholars deal with copyright and fair use. Two years ago we released a best practices document outlining guidelines for teaching and pedagogy. Now I’m happy to announce the second document: “Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ Statement of Fair Use Best Practices for Film & Media Studies Publishing.”

One of the important points that this new document makes is that the scholarly community believes that using copyrighted material in digital publications and bundled multimedia supplements for academic commentary or pedagogy is transformative, and thus constitutes fair use. A number of scholars I know have worked on projects that have been curtailed by publishers because of concerns that the innovative ways that they reuse and integrate copyright media will require permissions and licensing. While the SCMS statement is not a legally binding document, we hope that it will empower scholars, artists, and publishers to take a more open approach to fair use, and provide backing for experimentation and risk-taking.

Please share the report (which is Creative Commons licensed) broadly, especially to editors and publishers who often serve as unintentional policy-makers for such decisions. If anyone has any questions on this report or related issues, post them here and I’ll try to find an answer.

Posted in Academia, Copyright, Fair Use, Media Studies Tagged: scms

Jason Mittell

Publication date (from feed): 

Tue, 22 Sep 2009 20:02:31 +0000