Professor Peter Jaszi to Testify before House Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet

Hearing to Focus on "The Scope of Fair Use"


WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 27, 2014 - Professor Peter Jaszi, director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic and co-founder of the Program on Intellectual Property and Information Justice at American University Washington College of Law, will testify Jan. 28 before a U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, as a witness in a hearing on “The Scope of Fair Use.”

The hearing will focus on the fair use doctrine, which permits limited unauthorized use of copyrighted material, and which is relied upon to create derivative and transformative works.

Professor Jaszi's prepared testimony is available here. Jaszi will make several important points about about fair use, including:

  • "The proposition that citizen’s ability to make some socially and economically positive uses of copyrighted material without permission is a right, and now widely recognized as such."
  • "Fair use is working" thanks to the federal courts and the activities of user communities.
  • "Lawyers (and their clients) have little real difficulty forecasting likely outcomes" in many fair use cases.
  • Finally, "in only a few short decades, the courts have developed a robust 'unified field theory' of fair use which is fully capable of meeting the digital challenge and should be allowed to do so, just as fair use doctrine has been allowed, over more than 170 years, to adapt to other changes in circumstance."

Jaszi has written extensively on the issue of copyright fair use. Over the past decade he has worked with documentary filmmakers, educators, poets, and academic and research librarians to develop Codes of Best Practice for Fair Use within each of these user communities. He recently coauthored Reclaiming Fair Use with American University School of Communications Professor Patricia Aufderheide.


American University Washington College of Law’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) offers an unparalleled course of study in the fields of intellectual property and information law. Our balanced and diverse curriculum covers the full range of intellectual property topics, and the law school is home to one of the nation’s first intellectual property legal clinics. Under PIJIP’s auspices, faculty, staff, and students collaborate on research and public impact projects that focus on improving the law and ensuring that the fields of intellectual property and information law are aligned with respect for human rights and the achievement of social justice. Visit

In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 100 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school's nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, and intellectual property to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its 1700 JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, DC and around the world. For more information, visit