While the large content owners would like nothing better than to 'leave up to the courts', on a case-by-case basis, what is a 'fair use', it is not workable for creators, it is not fair to the public, and it is not consistent with the underlying principles of copyright law, for creators to have to live with that kind of uncertainty.
Which is why the Center for Social Media at American University, the same folks who brought you a 'Code of Best Practices for Fair Use' for documentary filmmakers, announced last year that they would be undertaking a project to develop a similar code for user-generated online content.
This month they have announced their Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video.
The code is available online and in *pdf. (PDF)
Now let us hope this helps to put an end to the atmosphere of constant litigation and terror that the large content owners have created.
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