Called the "Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts," the short, free, PDF is the result of years of work from the Association's legal experts.
Here's a quick summary of 10 main principles that are covered in the document.
1. You don't need to worry about Fair Use if permission is already granted, such as work designated by a Creative Commons license, or work in the public domain, such as images published before 1923.
2. If you're writing a review or an analysis of a given work, you can show the work or quote necessary parts from it, as long as you give appropriate credit. Generally speaking, this kind of use is permissible if it involves "criticism, comment, teaching, or scholarship."
3. If you're a teacher, you can display a copyrighted work as part of a specific curriculum for a specific group of students.
4. If you make art, you can adapt or reference copyrighted material if you use only what you need, and alter it into a new medium, generating new artistic meaning.
5. It's generally OK to use copyrighted work if the use is transformative, meaning that it "adds something new, with a further purpose or different character."
6. Museums can show copyrighted works as part of their curatorial mission, as long as it's credited, and not downloadable in high resolution form.
7. Academic libraries and art schools can preserve digital copies for purposes of study, again as long as they're properly credited, and not released in high resolution form.
8. If you deliberately repurpose the work of others, you should be prepared to explain the artistic objective, and you should not claim to be the creator of those derivative elements.
9. Judges consider whether the derivative work is commercial or educational in nature, and whether the derivative work undermines the market for the copyrighted work.
10. None of these are absolute rules. Like principles of freedom of expression, there are plenty of gray areas, and judges may rule one way or another, depending on many factors. My personal disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer; these ten basic principles I've summarized here are necessarily oversimplified; they're not the last word on my personal opinion; and I recommend you read the whole document.
In an appendix to the publication, Peter Jaszi puts the principles of the Copyright Code in context by explaining how the rights of the creator are balanced against the needs of the culture at large:
"The goal of US copyright law is to promote the progress of knowledge and culture. Its best-known feature is protection of owners’ rights. But copying, quoting, recontextualizing, and reusing existing cultural material can be critically important to creating and spreading knowledge and culture. That is why there is a social bargain at the heart of copyright law. That bargain is: Our society offers creators some exclusive rights in copyrighted works, to encourage them to produce culture. The compensation that creators receive from exploiting their copyrights is important as an incentive to this ultimate end; it is not an end in itself."Free PDF: Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts
Wikipedia on Fair Use
Thanks, Animation World Network