SCMS Best Practices in Fair Use for Publishing

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Via Jason Mittell today comes news that the Society for Cinema and Media Studies has released a statement of “best practices” in fair use for publishing in media studies, to complement its previously released statement on best practices for fair use in teaching.

This is an extremely important step for the field; the fair use concepts SCMS argued for in teaching have not only affected the ways that many of us in media studies use these texts in our teaching, but they’ve also been looked to by a number of other fields and organizations seeking to educate themselves about fair use. Many such fields are likewise facing questions about permissions and fair use in the publication of scholarship, and this statement promises to serve as a starting point and an important source of support for their own investigations.

More immediately, however, this statement has an immediate impact on the ways that we work at MediaCommons, as our disciplinary organization has now announced, plainly, that “Media scholars believe that uses of copyrighted works in multimedia scholarship are transformative, and so constitute fair use.”

Thanks are due to the SCMS Public Policy Committee for their work on this statement. We at MediaCommons look forward to discussing these best practices and to seeing them come to be accepted as part of the way that scholarship in the twenty-first century is conducted.