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Re: Fair Use Assumptions

Forwarded message:
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 97 14:43:45 EST
From: Anthony W Ferguson <>
Subject: Re: Fair Use Assumptions

re Scott Wick's statement (and others over the course of the past
several messages):

"When it comes to matters legal, assume nothing."

I am almost convinced that it is necessary to spend several weeks on
each license of going back and forth making sure that the contract
states clearly that the publisher acknowledges that they know about
fair use.

Still, I wonder if we might not be taking it too far.  My grandmother
was a very cautious person.  When she bought a pillow, couch, or any
item made up of a fiber and it had one of those tags the stated "Do not
remove under penalty of law"  she never removed one.  We tried to tell
her she was not liable, to no avail.  After she passed away we
marveled at the number of tags still in pristine condition.

A few years ago, a certain European publisher who didn't believe
librarians knew or were willing to obey the principles of fair use
provided a cash discount to those who were willing to sign an agreement
stating that they would abide by fair use.  Many librarians refused to
sign such agreements and found them insulting.


Anthony W. Ferguson
Associate University Librarian
Columbia University Libraries
Tel. 212-854-2270
Fax. 212-222-0331

[MOD. NOTE:  one of your moderators is of the granmother-ilk and does not
remove tags!  While this behavior obsession is generally invisible on
furniture, it does look silly upon the stuffed animals in her collection!]
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