The ACRL Board of Directors recently endorsed the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education, developed to offer guidance to educators at all levels who use copyrighted materials to teach media literacy skills. While the code’s primary audience is classroom teachers, librarians at all educational levels play a critical role in the media literacy education process. Librarians acquire the primary resources that are studied, and, when necessary, negotiate agreements with copyright holders to ensure the broadest permitted uses of these tools. Librarians also provide guidance on copyright and fair use issues related to the application of these tools in the classroom. The document assists librarians in understanding the needs of teaching colleagues and providing consistent guidance in fair use issues.
Written by Professors Renee Hobbs, Media Education Lab, Temple University; Peter Jaszi, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, Washington College of Law, American University; and Patricia Aufderheide, Center for Social Media, American University, this code was created after extensive interviews with educators, who expressed a wide level of confusion and misunderstanding about the applications of fair use in the teaching process. The resulting document was then reviewed by a legal advisory board, consisting of five attorneys, including Kenneth Crews from Columbia University, Michael Madison from the University of Pittsburgh, and Jennifer Urban from the University of Southern California.
Other organization signatories to this code include: Action Coalition for Media Education, Media Education Foundation, National Association for Media Literacy Education, National Council of Teachers of English, and Visual Communication Studies Division of the International Communication Association.