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March 21, 2008


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Jonathan Rochkind

Seriously, I would have thought 100 words of text in an online course would have been pretty clearly fair use anyway, no? Fair use, what fair use?

Steve Carson

Mark: Curtailment of fair use is a terribly important issue to us here at MIT OCW and throughout the open education community. Unfortunately, the Chronicle article missed an important point--that the agreement covers use of Elsevier materials *under our Creative Commons license.* We still reserve the right to use Elsevier materials with a fair use approach, but doing so would require our posting them as "All Rights Reserved" instead of under our open license that permits our users to redistribute and modify the materials. The distinction is important because even though use of materials on our site might be defensible under fair use, subsequent use by our site visitors may not. Our agreement puts the materials up under a license that supports open sharing of the content. We're continuing to explore appropriate options for us to employ fair use with Elsevier's and other publishers' materials to make OCW as rich a publication as possible.

Steve Carson
MIT OCW External Relations Director
scarson at mit dot edu


Ahhhhh - that helps explain my confusion why MIT's OCW project would promote a license layer on top of fair use, thanks Steve.

While this makes sense from the MIT CC license/3rd party perspective my concern still remains re the fact that we have to develop these agreements in a copyright world where scholarly journals are confined behind publisher walls, thereby preventing the free and open exchange of ideas.

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