Copyright, Free Speech, and the Public's Right to Know: How Journalists Think About Fair Use

25 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2012  

Patricia Aufderheide

American University - School of Communication

Peter A. Jaszi

American University - Washington College of Law

Katie Bieze

Center for Social Media

Jan Lauren Boyles

American University

Date Written: July 30, 2012

Abstract

This study explores the problems that journalists face in employing the doctrine of fair use under copyright in their work. Journalists are key actors in the public sphere, because they create and circulate information for public knowledge and deliberation on public affairs, and shape knowledge and therefore expectations about the wider culture. To the extent that journalists inhibit their own performance because of copyright concerns, they limit their ability to perform that public sphere function. The study results from longform, open-ended interviews with 80 journalists in a variety of subject areas and on a range of media platforms. It finds significant evidence of delays, decisions to limit coverage and failure to disseminate on the basis of insecurity and misinformation about fair use. Journalists made aware of this problem took action to shape a set of principles interpreting their fair use rights.

Keywords: Copyright, fair use, journalism, public sphere, First Amendment, freedom of expression, news

Suggested Citation

Aufderheide, Patricia and Jaszi, Peter A. and Bieze, Katie and Boyles, Jan Lauren, Copyright, Free Speech, and the Public's Right to Know: How Journalists Think About Fair Use (July 30, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2119933 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2119933

Patricia Aufderheide (Contact Author)

American University - School of Communication ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States
202-885-2069 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://cmsimpact.org

Peter A. Jaszi

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Katie Bieze

Center for Social Media ( email )

Mary Graydon Center
4400 Massachusetts Av. NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Jan Lauren Boyles

American University ( email )

4400 Massachusetts AVE
NW Washington DC, DC 20016
United States

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