Shepard Fairey: A Case of Fair Use

Shepard Fairey: A Case of Fair Use

Posted by: on September 8, 2014   |Comments (0)|Copyright and Fair Use

In mid-August, my colleagues and I completed a MOOC on Copyright for Librarians & Educators.  The course was presented by Duke University. A topic widely discussed and debated in both the lectures and forums was the issue of fair use. Fair use (in US copyright law) is, “the doctrine that brief excerpts of copyright material may, under certain circumstances, be quoted verbatim for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research, without the need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder.” (source)

One of the most intriguing cases of fair use for me is the one of street artist, Shepard Fairey, who battled in court from 2009 to 2012 with the Associated Press and photographer Mannie Garcia, over his transformation of the photograph that was used to create the Obama Hope print. Ultimately, he won on the issue of fair use, but lost on the issue of perjury (he initially lied about which photo he had used as inspiration for his work). Many know Fairey as the artist behind the OBEY GIANT imagery.

Fairey’s thoughts on the issue were eloquently detailed in the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology’sReflections on the Hope Poster Case“. In it, he states that his argument for his work falling under fair use is that he used pieces of the photo as raw material to create a heroic and inspirational political portrait, the aesthetic of which was fundamentally different from the original photo. Of his use of appropriation, he said, “The cultures that inspire me creatively — punk rock, skateboarding, and streetwear (graphics-heavy casual fashion) — all rely heavily on appropriation art, both because they are irreverent cultures, questioning the status quo, and because they are cultures with a rapid metabolism and throw-away mentality.”

As to why he did not obtain a license, Fairey said: “I intended no disrespect to photographer Mannie Garcia, but I did not think I needed permission to make an art piece using a reference photo. From the beginning, I openly acknowledged that my illustration of Obama was based on a reference photograph.  But the photograph is just a starting point. The illustration transforms it aesthetically in its stylization and idealization, and the poster has an altogether different purpose than the photograph does.” (source) So what do you think? Does Fairey’s work fall under fair use, or does he owe royalty money to the Associated Press and Mannie Garcia?  For more of Fairey’s thoughts on appropriation, take a look at the Reflections article here.

In mid-August, my colleagues and I completed a MOOC on Copyright for Librarians & Educators.  The course was presented by Duke University. A topic widely discussed and debated in both the lectures and forums was the issue of fair use. Fair use (in US copyright law) is, “the doctrine that brief excerpts of copyright material […]MORE

Copyright for Educators & Librarians

Posted by: on July 24, 2014   |Comments (0)|Scholarly Communication

2Beginning this week, three colleagues and myself will be participating in an online workshop run through Duke University by Kevin Smith (M.L.S., J.D.), Lisa A. Macklin (J.D., M.L.S.), and Anne Gilliland (J.D., M.L.S.).

All three instructors began as librarians and went to law school in order to assist colleagues in schools, colleges, and libraries better understand copyright. Their principal role in their current positions is to help sort out copyright issues that arise in education and libraries. From their introductory bio on the class website:

“In all of these situations, our goal is to help teachers and librarians accomplish their legitimate educational goals in ways that respect copyright and reduce the fear and uncertainty that sometimes hampers creative teaching. As lawyers, we strive to find responsible ways to say ‘yes’ when asked if a new teaching idea or library services can be considered within the confines of the copyright law.”

Throughout the next four weeks, we will be learning about how the history, purpose, and structure of the United States copyright law is relevant to educators and librarians. For more more information about this course, please visit the course website.

Beginning this week, three colleagues and myself will be participating in an online workshop run through Duke University by Kevin Smith (M.L.S., J.D.), Lisa A. Macklin (J.D., M.L.S.), and Anne Gilliland (J.D., M.L.S.). All three instructors began as librarians and went to law school in order to assist colleagues in schools, colleges, and libraries better […]MORE

Open Education Week @ PC

Posted by: on March 7, 2013   |Comments (0)|Open Educational Resources

Next week marks the second annual International Open Education Week and we are pleased to announce a series of events exploring Open Education (OE).  If you are new to the idea of OE, this video gives a great summary:

Throughout the week we’ll look into some of the most prominent themes in the OE movement including Open Textbooks, Open Educational Resources, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and more.  We hope the week’s events will prompt local discussion about the role librarians play in curating OERs (and OA collections) for students and faculty here at PC.

Here is the schedule of events.  All are welcome, so please mark your calendars!

Webinar: Driving Adoptions of OER Through Communities of Practice
Monday, March 11.  12:00 pm.  Library LL104A
Communities of practice, or mutually supporting groups organized around a common subject area, have the potential to increase the rate of adoption of Open Education Resources. College Open Textbooks sponsors a number of such communities. In this webinar, members of four communities will present their experience in driving adoption of OER. They will present lessons learned and look ahead to how these communities can be strengthened and increase their influence in the battle for adoptions.

Library Staff Present: OER Show and Tell
Friday, March 15.  10:00 am.  Library E-Classroom
Wondering what OERs are and what they look like?  Several library staff will demo how to find OERs, multi-media OERs, local OA collections, and review the major MOOC platforms.

Live Presentation, Developing MOOCs at Brown University
Monday, March 18.  3:00 pm.  “The Pit” Library First Floor
Kathy Takayama, Director of the Brown University Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, will lead a discussion on the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at Brown.  With courses scheduled to launch in June through the Coursera platform, Brown is currently developing their MOOC offerings.  This interactive presentation will center on the valuable lessons Kathy and her colleagues have learned about planning for MOOCs.  It will also emphasize important future considerations for faculty development and training in preparation for teaching and using MOOCs.  Anyone with an interest in MOOCs, online education, or open educational resources is encouraged to attend.

Next week marks the second annual International Open Education Week and we are pleased to announce a series of events exploring Open Education (OE).  If you are new to the idea of OE, this video gives a great summary: Throughout the week we’ll look into some of the most prominent themes in the OE movement […]MORE