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Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Dance Collections

You’re running an archive featuring dance and would love to exhibit some of the work in your collection that shows the evolution of a dance trend. Do you need to get permission from copyright holders or can you employ Fair Use?

You’re also announcing the exhibit on your website, and would like to run a few clips from some of the most famous material. Can you do that without copyright holder permission?

You’re thrilled that, to launch the exhibit, a major scholar will be giving a lecture at your museum. Can you offer a video podcast of that lecture without getting permission from the copyright holders of the video clips from several of your key holdings that she’ll be using?

Oh, and the scholar wants to upload her lecture and video excerpts from your holdings to an online journal. Can you let her do that or will you have to go back to the copyright holders for permission?

Dance archivists, librarians and museum curators face questions like this every day. Now they have answers, in a Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use for Dance-Related Materials, available at danceheritage.org/fairuse. The Center for Social Media, with the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at the Washington College of Law, is proud to have contributed to this report authored by the Dance Heritage Coalition.

The Dance Heritage Coalition is inaugurating this code on May 8 at 2 pm, at the Washington College of Law (4801 Massachusetts Av. NW, Washington, D.C.) and we join them in welcoming you at the celebration.