Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is an annual celebration held the last week of February. Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2017 will take place from Monday, February 20, through Friday, February 24. It celebrates the important doctrines of fair use in the United States and fair dealing in Canada and other jurisdictions.

Fair use and fair dealing are essential limitations and exceptions to copyright, allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. Fair use and fair dealing are flexible doctrines, allowing copyright to adapt to new technologies. These doctrines facilitate balance in copyright law, promoting further progress and accommodating freedom of speech and expression.

While fair use and fair dealing is employed on a daily basis by students, faculty, librarians, journalists, and all users of copyrighted material, Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is a time to promote and discuss the opportunities presented, celebrate successful stories and explain the doctrine.


Past Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week Celebrations

In 2014, a number of campuses held celebrations around fair use from February 24-28. Campuses participated in a variety of ways including blog posts, workshops, and live panels. Harvard hosted a full week of events and greater information about Fair Use Week 2014 can be found here.

In 2015 and 2016, campuses and organizations celebrated fair use and fair dealing internationally.  A full list of participants is available here.  Blog posts can be found here and the calendar of events for 2015 and 2016 is available here.

How can I participate in Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week?

The level of participation in Fair Use/Fair Dealing 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:

  • Write a blog post on fair use/dealing.
  • Publish an op-ed.
  • Host a live panel on fair use/dealing at your campus, institution, or organization.
  • Host a webcast or webinar.
  • Create a video about fair use/dealing.
  • Publicize fair use/fair dealing on social media using the hashtag #fairuseweek2016.
    (On Twitter, you can also follow and tag @fairuseweek.)
  • Write to your member of Congress highlighting the importance of fair use and how you, your members, or institution/organization rely on fair use.
  • Create resources or share existing resources. (See http://fairuseweek.org/resources/ for a great collection of resources developed during last year’s Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week celebration.)
  • Submit fair use success stories for the Fair Use Week blog on Tumblr by sending e-mail to kyle_courtney@harvard.edu.