·  by Moriah Mensah

Happy Fair Use Week from the R Street Institute

Originally Posted On: R Street

Every time anyone create a meme or posts a gif to social media that makes use of someone else’s original idea, he or she is engaged in “fair use.” It might not the biggest part of one’s day but it certainly enriches the experience.

To recognize and appreciate the thousand-and-one small ways fair use makes our lives fuller and more interesting every day, we have joined this week’s celebrations of Fair Use Week. In case you missed it…

In a Feb. 23 blog post, the ReCreate coalition (of which R Street is a member) offers a great short-and-dirty rundown of the history of “fair use” as a legal concept. If you haven’t got the time, or reading just isn’t your thing, you can have a listen here, and in six minutes or less, become pretty well-acquainted with how fair use works.

Take a look, and then test your knowledge with Brigham Young University’s Fair Use Quiz (it’s only one question, so you’ve only got one shot at guru status). Once you’ve established that you’re a fair-use guru, check out the top 10 things to consider when evaluating fair use.

Remember it’s never too late to be heard or to start a discussion. The Association of Research Libraries offers some great suggestions for how. Because you’re now a guru and want to spread the word, the Fair Use Week official calendar is a great source of inspiration (just because you missed the “official” conversation doesn’t mean it’s too late to have your voice heard).

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Feb. 25 blog post about copyright and the international perspective is a must read if you’re worried about how fair use functions on a global scale. You also can check out how fair use affects people’s lives here at home with the ARL’s Day in the Life infographic.

Now that you understand the state of the law and why fair use is SO important, we’re certain you are kicking yourself for missing all of this year’s Fair Use Week fun. But don’t fret! It’s never too late to have an opinion and we’ll see you next year!