US: History of Fair Use

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1813/2719

Title: Research, Libraries, and Fair Use: The Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1935
Authors: Hirtle, Peter B.
Keywords: copyright
libraries – legal issues
Issue Date: 20-Mar-2006
Abstract: The Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1935 was a voluntary agreement that set guidelines for the limits of acceptable reproduction of copyrighted materials on behalf of scholars. Developed in response to the challenge posed by the easy and inexpensive photographic reproduction of research materials, the Agreement allowed library, archives, museum, or similar institutions to make single photographic copies of a part of a copyrighted work in lieu of loaning the physical item. The copies were not supposed to substitute for the purchase of the original work, and they were intended solely to facilitate research. Liability for misuse was to rest with the individual requesting the copy, and not with the institution making the reproduction. The Gentlemen’s Agreement has long been recognized as one of the most important landmarks in the history of the fair use privilege. […]


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