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By: Society for Cinema and Media Studies

This Statement of Best Practices identifies what media scholars consider to be fair use of copyrighted works within media studies publishing in the United States. It provides a reference for media scholars to follow when considering whether or not their inclusion of media in a publication meets the standards of fair use. In 1993, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (then the Society for Cinema Studies) issued a similar statement making the fair use argument for the scholarly use of film stills in publications. This document updates the 1993 statement to account for changes in media publishing and in copyright fair use analysis.

The Statement identifies four categories in which fair use claims may be based when using copyrighted work in publication, while noting limits on those categories. It also identifies and debunks common fair use myths. This is a declaration of what the members of SCMS believe to be fair use in their academic field. Many of the principles below are widely applicable, but the document is intended to speak for and about media scholars and scholarship. It is important to remember that this document is only a set of general principles, designed to serve as a guide to authors, editors, and publishers.

Go to: Best Practices for Media Studies Publishing (PDF)