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National Communication Association Endorses Fair Use Code for Scholarship

NCA logoThe National Communication Association (NCA), a leading academic assocation for communication teachers and scholars, has endorsed the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication. The Code, created by a scholarly committee in the International Communication Association, helps scholars decide how to employ fair use when they are quoting copyrighted material to study it, using it as illustration in a scholarly argument or point, employing it within an experimental setting, or collecting it in a research archive. 

The NCA  board that approved the endorsement found all of these situations to apply to research done by scholars in that assocation, which celebreates communication "as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific and aesthetic inquiry." Many NCA members, for instance, study popular culture and the way it is used, changed, and responded to by the people formerly known as the audience.

"It was a unanimous decision, and we were quick to come to censensus," said Prof. David Henry of University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Henry studies public discourse in science, political communication and social movements, and his own work involves routine quotation from copyright remarks. 

"The group found that self-censorship--at least anecdotally--is very common among NCA members," said Henry, "just as ICA found among its members. Copyright concerns are impeding scholarship in our organization, too. So this Code offers a way to improve communication scholarship." 

Henry said that the group particularly liked that the Code provides "concrete scenarios that scholars in our profession routinely face."