Recent Developments in Fair Use

Monday, 3/21/2016 - Friday, 4/15/2016

Over four weeks, get up to date in copyright law, with a particular emphasis on fair use. The first week will be devoted to an overview of current U.S. copyright law, with special attention to areas of the law that affect libraries. Topics will include the first sale doctrine, varying interpretations of the distribution right, copyright term extension and restoration, and intermediary liability. The second week will cover fair use in the area of electronic reserve, with particular attention to the Georgia State case. The third week will cover fair use in the area of mass digitization, with attention to Authors Guild v. HathiTrust and Authors Guild v. Google. The final week will explore additional fair use cases from the last decade alongside proposals for legislative reform of copyright in the United States.    

Participation in the course will take place via asynchronous forums, weekly live chats, and written assignments. In the first week, participants will address a set of library-based scenarios designed to challenge and improve their ability to explain various facets of copyright law. In the second and third weeks, each participant will prepare a copyright policy to guide a hypothetical electronic reserve or mass digitization program. In the fourth week, participants will be paired off to meet (online or by phone) to critique and discuss each other’s policies.  Through this combination of activities, the course will not only refresh and deepen participants’ knowledge of copyright law; it will also provide opportunities for practical application of that knowledge.   

Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to explain current copyright and fair use doctrine to those without legal background.
  • Be able to apply current copyright and fair use doctrine to scenarios that arise in research libraries.
  • Be able to create and advocate for legal policies that guide library work.

Who Should Attend

Academic librarians, those interested in copyright and fair use.  This course is designed for individuals who already possess a basic understanding of U.S. copyright law. Background materials will be provided to make the course accessible to those who have less experience in the field.


Ana Enriquez is a copyright lawyer who focuses on the issues facing libraries, universities, and other cultural institutions. She has taught copyright and internet law in several contexts, including as the Head Teaching Fellow for the online course CopyrightX from 2013 to 2015. She is a member of the Illinois and Massachusetts bars and is a graduate of Berkeley Law and Harvard College.



Registration fees:

ACRL member: $135
ALA member: $175
Nonmember: $195
Student: $60


How to Register

  • Scroll down to the month when the course is offered.
  • Select the "Register" link next to the course name.
  • You will need to log in with your ALA ID & password. If you do not have an ALA ID & password, you will be asked to create one in order to register.

Course access instructions will be sent out one business day prior to the start of the course.

Class size is limited to 60 participants. Full refunds will be granted up to one business day prior to the start of the course.

Tech Requirements

The course will be offered in Moodle.  A computer with Internet connection is required. 

Contact Hours

Your participation will require approximately 1-3 hours per week of primarily asynchronous activities to:

  • Read the online course materials
  • Post to online discussion boards
  • Complete online exercises

Participants who complete the course requirements will receive a certificate of completion.


Contact Margot Conahan at with questions or requests for special assistance.