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Re: CCUMC Multimedia Guidelines

From:  Peter Graham, Rutgers University Libraries

Stan Diamond says,

>many of their members (and non-members) who are actually engaged in
>creating multimedia or in assisting other faculty and students
>in creating multimedia view the guidelines as not only useable, but
>liberating and empowering. For these people the guidelines provide the
>"bright line..." referred to in the CONFU interim report, which they can
>use to easily find their way through the difficult terrain of fair use.<

The concept of the"bright line" is disturbing to those of us who are
concerned that the guidelines will become interpreted as a ceiling for
fair use, rather than as a floor. Stan D. does address this later when he

>we must all remember that these are only guidelines. If anyone feels that
>they have more freedom by applying the four principles of fair use, they
>are certainly encouraged to do so. 
However the character of this phrasing as an afterthought is just what
concerns me.  The precedents and usage patterns that will be set by people
operating only within the guidelines are disturbing, for they are
unnecessarily constraining.  Note that what follows immediately after this
last quote is

>If the concept of fair use is legislatively expanded at some future time,
>the guidelines may become unnecessary.
The clear implication is that without such legislation, fair use
expandability beyond the guidelines is not appropriate.  All in all Stan
D's defense and interpretation is internally contradictory and not

His is a very worrying interpretation, and gives pause to the kinds of
libraries (ALA, ARL) which are concerned about long-term and permanent
access to scholarly information for "progress in the sciences and useful
arts" as taking pre-eminence over short-term gains to be made by immediate
intellectual property owners. 

>Our only intention in creating the guidelines was to assist educators by
>providing a clear, concise roadmap which they could easily follow in
>creating their educational multimedia projects without any fear of notice
>or reprisal by the copyright police.
This passage too further underlines the approach of the guidelines:  they
are to have a constraining effect, even a chilling effect, in order to
assure that library providers do not stray beyond boundaries that are in
fact quite permeable and that need regularly to be stretched.  --pg

Peter Graham     Rutgers University Libraries
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