Reclaiming Fair Use

How to Put Balance Back in Copyright

by Patricia Aufderheide , Peter Jaszi

Number of pages: 216

Publisher: University Of Chicago Press

BBB Library: Corporate Success

ISBN: 9780226032283

About the Authors

Patricia Aufderheide : She's a professor in the School of Communication at American University


Peter Jaszi : He's professor of domestic and international copyright law at the Washington


Editorial Review

Copyright conversations have become like a battleground between two worldviews. One is that of the mass-media corporations fighting for control of what they understand to be their enclosed garden, generating fruit to be sold on the harvested bushel. They have pushed for and won long and strong copyright – copyright policies that heavily privilege the rights of copyright owners. The other is that of people who make new cultural works – often artists, remixers, appropriators, self-styled pirates – who understand the cultural landscape from which they draw to be a common field, ready for grazing and the creation of new, zesty products redolent of the past yet promising the future. These people’s perspective often is that copyright is bunk.

Book Reviews

"Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi's 2011 textReclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyrightoffers a deeply valuable discussion of copyright law, creative practices, and the place of fair use in the life of the digital citizen." Transformative Works and Cultures

"RECLAIMING FAIR USE: HOW TO PUT BALANCE BACK IN COPYRIGHT by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi is a balanced analysis of how copyright law has transformed over the past few decades and a practical guide on how to establish clear “fair use” codes that protect both the creator of cultural artifacts and those who wish to reinterpret them for an alternative audience and purpose." Law and Politics Book Review

"Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2011. It’s a well-written history of fair use interpretation and an important corrective to over-cautiousness in asserting user rights." OPEN@VT

"Reclaiming Fair Use is an informative and readable call for content creators to work collectively in establishing fair use norms and asserting their fair use rights. It would make an excellent acquisition for any academic or public library that serves patrons who rely on fair use." College of William & Mary Law School

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Wisdom to Share

Copyright conversations have become like a battleground between two worldviews.

Fair use was not an explicit part of the earliest copyright law because it was not needed.

Fair use is not only the law of the land, but part of the package of free-speech rights we hold dear and an investment in our cultural future.

Copyright policy and practice today are lopsided in favor of copyright owners.

But rewarding creators is just one tactic, and one that, as is universally recognized, must be limited to protect the larger goal of encouraging creation of culture.

If you do not limit the control that copyright owners have over their work, owners become chiefs of private fiefdoms of culture, and private censors of future culture.

Fair use is always a case-by-case decision.

This era’s version of copyright law is regrettably unbalanced in favor of current copyright holders, and against emergent culture of all kinds.

These limits are not a gift, but a requirement for the creation of tomorrow’s culture.

People who use and respect fair use can better defend it, and also defend other policies that permit greater unfettered access to culture.