[Air-L] Permission to reproduce webpages?

Gilbert B. Rodman gbrodman at mindspring.com
Wed Sep 1 16:33:09 PDT 2010

  Two quick comments here, both AGAINST the notion that André 
necessarily has to ask for permission to use the images in question.

First, "fair use" arguably disappears -- in specific cases, if not as a 
whole -- the moment you ask for permission.  At the very least, asking 
for permission potentially prevents you from asserting "fair use" later 
(which you might still want to do if, for example, your request isn't 
answered in a timely fashion), since it demonstrates that you don't 
believe your quotation of the material qualifies as "fair use."

Second, "fair use" isn't simply some technical quirk in US copyright law 
that allows scholars to get away with what is otherwise morally 
questionable activity.  It is arguably one of the basic rights that 
enables us -- along with journalists, reviewers, critics, and a vast 
range of other cultural commentators -- to do our jobs.  I'm willing to 
bet that the publisher André is dealing with is NOT making him secure 
permission every time he quotes printed texts.  He undoubtedly needs to 
attribute such quotes properly, and there are likely to be restrictions 
on how much of a source he can quote ... but "fair use" is what allows 
scholars to quote words written by other people (and reviewers to quote 
bits of books, songs, plays, movies, etc.) in the ordinary practices of 
research, criticism, and commentary without having to formally granted 
permission to do so.  Put a different way, "fair use" is one of the 
major things that keeps copyright holders from using charges of 
"infringement" as a backhanded means of controlling public commentary 
about the works in question.


On 09/01/2010 05:16 PM, Brian Holland wrote:
> The AP is particularly litigious in this regard.  They have an extensive licensing program and they expect folks to use it.  In fact, the existence of such a program is a major factor against fair use -- i.e., it makes your claim of fair use less likely to succeed.
> - Brian
> -----Original Message-----
> From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org [mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of André Brock
> Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 5:08 PM
> To: Philippa Smith; air-l at listserv.aoir.org
> Subject: Re: [Air-L] Permission to reproduce webpages?
> Thanks, Philippa!  I appreciate the heads up.  Fortunately, the sites we
> examined (Racialicious, Jezebel, and Essence.com for those keeping score at
> home) aren't pulling from AP (thank god!).
> I'll keep y'all posted on my progress and outcome.
> André
> On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 4:51 PM, Philippa Smith<philippa.smith at aut.ac.nz>wrote:
>> Just as an aside and to throw a spanner in the works -  I've had a
>> situation where we wanted to use a screenshot from an online newspaper
>> but because the source of the article was  Associated Press we had to
>> get their permission as well to reproduce the text.  This came at a
>> financial cost.  It's worth noting whether websites contain material
>> from other sources that might also need permission.  Unfortunately this
>> is a can of worms scenario.
>> Kind regards
>> Philippa
>> Philippa Smith
>> PhD Candidate
>> Institute of Culture, Discourse&  Communication
>> AUT University
>> Auckland
>>>>> André Brock<andre.brock at gmail.com>  09/02/10 9:41 AM>>>
>> Thanks to everyone who's answered me so far (Hi, Annette!).  The legal
>> advice was particularly helpful, and i'm going to follow Ulf-Dietrich's
>> advice and contact the websites - i have contacts at a couple of them.
>> Does AoIR have a specific statement on fair use of Internet/ICT
>> materials
>> for research in the field?  I know we have an extensive set of materials
>> on
>> Ethics... (and no, i'm not volunteering to write it.  i'm just asking)
>> André
>> On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 10:22 AM, Andre Brock<andre.brock at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> For the first time in, well, ever I've been asked by a journal to
>> obtain
>>> permission from a website to reproduce a screenshot of a webpage.
>> Not, to
>>> be clear, of an image on the page - but of the page itself.   I've
>> been
>>> offered the option of removing the image and replacing it with a URL,
>> but
>>> from an archival standpoint that's problematic.  Webpages with dynamic
>>> content change all the time, not to mention that authors sometimes
>> change
>>> formats/platforms, modify pages, or remove content that was included
>> in the
>>> original analysis.
>>> I don't want to miss the publishing deadline, but I need to know:
>> "where
>>> dey do dat at?!?" (translation: since when did fair use guidelines get
>> bent
>>> so badly in academic publishing?)
>>> André Brock
>>> Assistant Professor, SLIS/POROI
>>> University of Iowa
>> --
>> Andre Brock
>> Assistant Professor - Library and Information Science/POROI
>> University of Iowa
>> Iowa City, IA 52242
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