Music Library Association Home

This site is maintained by the Legislation Committee of the Music Library Association (MLA) as a resource for anyone interested in issues of copyright as they apply to the fields of music and music librarianship.


27 March 2015 - Public Meeting: Facilitating the Development of the Online Licensing Environment for Copyrighted Works

The Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force will be holding a public meeting to "explore whether and how the government can facilitate the further development of the online licensing environment for copyrighted works, focusing specifically on the development and use of standard identifiers for all types of works of authorship, interoperability among databases and systems used to identify owners of rights and terms of use, and a possible portal for linking to such databases and to licensing platforms".

For more information, an agenda of the meeting, and access to the webcast, visit

17 February 2015 - Fair Use Week, 2015: Feb. 23-27

Mark your calendars! Fair Use Week 2015—a community celebration of fair use coordinated by the Association of Research Libraries—will take place February 23–27.

What is Fair Use Week?!!

Each day teachers teach, students learn, researchers advance knowledge, and consumers access copyrighted information due to exemptions in copyright law, such as fair use in the United States or fair dealing in Canada and other jurisdictions. Fair use and fair dealing allow the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. For libraries, educational institutions, and the public, the fair use doctrine is the most important limitation on the rights of the copyright owner—the "safety valve" of US copyright law.

Fair Use Week is an annual celebration of the doctrine of fair use and fair dealing. It celebrates the important role fair use plays in achieving the Constitutional purpose of intellectual property rights in the US: to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. The flexible nature of the fair use doctrine has permitted copyright to adapt to new technologies and changes. Similarly, in Canada, fair dealing is a critical right of the user intended to facilitate balance in copyright law and accommodate freedom of expression.

While Fair Use Week 2015 will be celebrated February 23–27, we believe that every week is fair use week. Indeed, fair use is employed on a daily basis by students, faculty, librarians, journalists, and all users of copyrighted material. Fair Use Week is simply a time to promote and discuss the opportunities presented by fair use, celebrate successful fair use stories, and explain the doctrine.

When is Fair Use Week?!!

Fair Use Week 2015 will take place from Monday, February 23, through Friday, February 27. People can participate on a single day during the week, multiple days, or the full week.

How can I participate in Fair Use Week?!!

The level of participation in Fair Use Week is entirely up to each participant. Some will publish a blog post on fair use on one day during the week, while others might host events each day of the week. Below are some examples of ways to participate in Fair Use Week 2015:

  • Write a blog post on fair use.
  • Publish an op-ed.
  • Host a live panel on fair use at your campus, institution, or organization.
  • Host a webcast or webinar.
  • Create a video about fair uses.
  • Publicize fair use on social media using the hashtag #fairuseweek2015. (On Twitter, you can also follow and tag @fairuseweek.)
  • Submit fair use success stories for the Fair Use Week blog on Tumblr to Kyle Courtney (

More information!!

Visit (site coming soon) or e-mail for additional information. The website will be continually updated with information, a calendar of events, and links to blog posts, webcasts, activities, and resources.

Hosted By!!

Krista Cox,

09 December 2013 - News on three cases of general importance to libraries

Oral arguments began on October 30th at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals for the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust case. Kenneth Crews wrote a summary on Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office's page.

On November 14th 2013, Judge Denny Chin issued a decision in the Google Books case. Brandon Butler wrote a summary on ARL's Policy Notes page.

Oral arguments began on November 20th for the Georgia State E-Reserves Case in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Kevin Smith wrote a summary on his blog: Scholarly Communications At Duke.

05 June 2012 - More News in the Georgia State E-Reserves Case

The Georgia State case now moves into the remedies phase.

The plaintiffs, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Sage, recently filed their required proposed injunction as part of Judge Orinda Evans' decision on May 11th.

Kevin Smith provides a helpful summary of the plaintiffs' proposed injunction. The plaintiffs seek to enjoin GSU from using without permission any excerpted materials from the publishers unless they met every single one of the four factors of fair use in a very specific manner. For instance: GSU would only be able to use the lesser of a single chapter or 10% of a book; they would not be able to use the heart of the work as an excerpt; and GSU would need to determine whether there was a license available for using the excerpt through the Copyright Clearance Center or directly through the publishers. The most controversial item in the plaintiffs' proposed injunction would allow the publishers access to GSU's course management system so that they would be able to ensure compliance.

According to Judge Evans' order, GSU has fifteen days to respond to the publishers' proposed injunction.

12 May 2012 - Decision Issued for Georgia State E-Reserves Case

A verdict was issued in the Georgia State case yesterday evening.

For a helpful summary and analysis of the case, please visit the most recent posting on Kevin Smith's blog, Scholarly Communications @ Duke: "The GSU Decision-- Not an Easy Road For Anyone"

Please click below to access the full text of the case:

archived posts

Creative Commons License

Copyright for Music Librarians by the Music Library Association
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available here.