Tuesday, February 26, 2013

MIT Comparative Media Studies: Copyright, Fair Use and the Cultural Commons

Copyright, Fair Use and the Cultural Commons
MIT Comparative Media Studies

How has the American tradition of intellectual property law understood the relationship between originality and tradition? What rights do artists and educators have to draw inspiration from or comment on existing works in existing media? What habits, beliefs, legal and policy decisions threaten the emergence of a more participatory culture? What have people done, and what can we do to protect the Fair Use rights of artists, educators, and amateurs so that explore the opportunities created by new media and a networked society?


Hal Abelson is professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. He is engaged in the interaction of law, policy, and technology as they relate to the growth of the Internet, and is active in projects at MIT and elsewhere to help bolster our intellectual commons. Abelson is a founding director of the Free Software Foundation, Creative Commons, and Public Knowledge and serves as consultant to Hewlett-Packard Laboratories.

Patricia Aufderheide is a professor in the School of Communication at American University where she also directs the Center for Social Media . She is the author of several books including Documentary: A Very Short Introduction (2007), The Daily Planet (2000), and of Communications Policy in the Public Interest (1999). She has been a Fulbright and John Simon Guggenheim fellow and has served as a juror at the Sundance Film Festival. She received a career achievement award in 2006 from the International Documentary Association.

Wendy Gordon is a professor of law and Paul J. Liacos Scholar in Law at Boston University. In many well-known articles, she has argued for an expansion of fair use utilizing economic, Lockean, and ethical perspectives.

Gordon Quinn is president and founding member of Kartemquin Films where for over 40 years he has been making cinema verite films that investigate and critique society by documenting the unfolding lives of real people (i.e., Hoop Dreams, 1994). Quinn is working on Milking The Rhino, a film examining community based conservation in Africa and At The Death House Door, a film on a wrongful execution in Texas.


William Uricchio is co-director of Comparative Media Studies at MIT and professor of comparative media history at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. His most recent book is Media Cultures, on responses to media in post-9/11 Germany and the U.S.

To Listen to the Panel Discussion

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