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Best Practices

Report on Orphan Works Challenges: for libraries, archives, and other memory institutions

Orphan works pose significant challenges to nonprofit libraries, archives, and other memory organizations. When these organizations seek to reuse orphan works—copyrighted works whose owners cannot be located—they face the perceived risk of costly infringement suits from copyright owners who might later emerge. But libraries, archives and other memory organizations hold many orphan works in their collections, and risk averse organizations that do not make these works available may fail to fulfill part of their core missions of preserving cultural and intellectual artifacts and providing access to users in a format and context that is meaningful to them.

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The Code of Best Practices for Academic and Research Libraries

The mission of academic and research librarians is to enable teaching, learning,and research. Along with serving current faculty, researchers, and students (especially graduate students), these librarians also serve the general public, to whom academic and research libraries are often open. Finally, academic and research librarians are committed to faculty, researchers, and students of the future, who depend on the responsible collection, curation, and preservation of materials over time.

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Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry

This code of best practices helps poets understand when they and others have the right to excerpt, quote and use copyrighted material in poetry. To create this code, poets came together to articulate their common expectations.

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Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare

 This document is a code of best practices (download as PDF here) designed to help those preparing OpenCourseWare (OCW) to interpret and apply fair use under United States copyright law. The OCW movement, which is part of the larger Open Educational Resources (OER) movement, was pioneered in 2002, when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched its OpenCourseWare initiative, making course materials available in digital form on a free and open basis to all.

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The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education

Media LitThis document is a code of best practices that helps educators using media literacy concepts and techniques to interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances—especially when the cultural or social benefits of the use are predominant. It is a general right that applies even in situations where the law provides no specific authorization for the use in question—as it does for certain narrowly defined classroom activities.

This guide identifies five principles that represent the media literacy education community’s current consensus about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials, wherever and however it occurs: in K–12 education, in higher education, in nonprofit organizations that offer programs for children and youth, and in adult education.

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Go to: The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education (PDF)