This past year, I've had the pleasure and privilege to work on a series of research projects about copyright and fair use with the woman who literally wrote the book on the subject, Pat Aufderheide of American University.
One of our studies, which was just published in the International Journal of Communication, was based on a survey of 350 scholars in the field of communication. What we found was a little disheartening: Comm scholars are underinformed about fair use, academic institutions are underprepared to adopt it, and scholarship is suffering because of it. Here's the abstract:
A survey of 350 communication scholars internationally shows that, although scholars are increasingly aware of fair use and (when aware of it) benefit from the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Communication Scholarship, they continue to suffer from confusion and ignorance about how to apply this feature of copyright law that is crucial to their work. Most are not aware of the code, although those who use it report success. The survey results point to the need for discipline-wide education and application of the code’s affordances for institutional reform.
You can read the whole article for free here.