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Fair Use and the Future of the Commons - Come Join the Discussion Wed. Oct 22!

Please join us for the next HASTAC Scholars DiscussionForum on "Fair Use and the Future of the Commons," led byScholar Veronica Paredes from USC and featuring the non-profitadvocacy coalition Critical Commons. The forum will open fordiscussion Wednesday, October 22nd at

Fair Use and the Future of the Commons
Forum starts October 22, 2008 at

Coincidingwith aday-long Critical Commonsevent to take place at USC's AnnenbergResearch Park on Oct 27, this forum will address the fear,uncertaintyand misinformation dominating the discourse of copyright andintellectual property. Fair Use has become one of the most vexingissues in today's academic landscape. As educators, what are our rightsand responsibilities when working with copyrighted media (images,audio, video) under the current copyright regime? In light of recentdevelopments in legislation (e.g. thecreationof a 'copyright czar'), how is this copyright regimechanging? How can media scholars and artists avoid chilling effects andself-censorship? How can we contribute to advocacy and reform of fairuse protections?

Inspired by CriticalCommons, a non-profit advocacy coalition thatsupports the use of media in educational contexts, this forum willexplore these urgent questions and aim to provide some tangibleanswers. The forum will also document and engage areal-life CriticalCommons event - a series of presentations and discussions with keyplayers in the advancement and redefinition of fair use (which willinclude a keynote presentation from Peter Jaszi,Professor of Law atAmerican University and co-chair on the Code of Best PracticesCommittee at the Center for Social Media). The event will be coupledwith a faculty showcase and hands-on workshops at the Institute forMultimedia Literacy (IML), as well as a virtual space to join in ontheconversation at theIML island in Second Life. Possibilities forparticipation are many and diverse: read and post on the forum; attendpresentations and discussions in Second Life; visit us in SouthernCalifornia and participate in a workshop at the IML!

Thegoal of this forum is to bring clarity to questions of fair use forscholars and educators working with copyrighted media for research,teaching and electronic publication. This forum, in its multiple forms,will facilitate some much-needed discussion of the state ofcontemporary Fair Use and where we should be setting our sights for thefuture.

Veronica Paredesis a PhD student in the new interdivisional program Media Arts andPractice (iMAP) at USC's School of Cinematic Arts. While at USC, shehas worked as a research and teaching assistant for the Institute forMultimedia Literacy. Her research interests include digitalscholarship, transnational online economies and audio culture. Her workexplores histories of technology and culture through the topics ofgender, labor and race.


CriticalCommons, a winner of the 2007 HASTAC/MacArthur FoundationDigital Media & Learning Competition Knowledge Networking award,is a non-profit advocacy coalition that supportsthe use of media in educational contexts, providing resources,information and tools for scholars, students and educators.  They aimto: Facilitate the writing and dissemination of best practices and fairuse guidelines for academic communities; Showcase innovative electronicscholarship that is free, open source, or fair use; Inform educatorsabout current copyright law and its alternatives; Provide a tool forviewing, tagging, annotating and distributing media for classroom use;Build an open, informed community around media-based education,scholarly research and critical practice; and Share tools, resourcesand information of interest to educators, students and researchers.


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