CONFUConference on Fair Use
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CONFU acted under the auspices of the USPTO in developing its guidelines (although the USPTO had no authority to make legally binding guidelines).
Nevertheless, CONFU had an impact on participants and their organizations, not the least of which was education about the issues involved.
Department of Commerce Patent and Trademark Office, The Conference on Fair Use: Report to the Commissioner on the Conclusion of the First Phase of the Conference on Fair Use, September 1997 (hereafter, CONFU Report).
129) The group, known as CONFU (The Conference on Fair Use), determined that fair use guidelines for use of copyrighted materials in the electronic arena were necessary in five major areas: Distance Learning, Multimedia, Electronic Reserves, Interlibrary Loans, and Image Collection.
The CONFU process may provide necessary insight into both the strength of the publishers' lobby and its intransigence with respect to issues of fair use.
158) The proposed guidelines emanating from the CONFU process represents another such effort.
24) The CONFU was held to "examine[ ] whether the current intellectual property regime was appropriate for maintaining a proper balance between the public interest in free information .
The CONFU participants were divided into six working groups: Digital Images, Distance Learning, Educational Multimedia, Electronic Reserves Systems, Interlibrary Loan Document Delivery, and Software Use in Libraries.
However, as with the other areas originally under consideration, these guidelines are being offered without a consensus endorsement of the CONFU participants.
PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE, THE CONFERENCE ON FAIR USE: AN INTERIM REPORT TO THE COMMISSIONER 2 (1996) [hereinafter INTERIM REPORT] (noting that 40 groups were invited to participate in the first CONFU meeting, and more than 95 organizations were participating by November 1996); CONFU Background (visited Nov.
130) See CONFU Background, supra note 129 (stating the five areas of educational use which were selected for consideration by smaller working groups).
132) See Phan, supra note 22, at 200 (stating that opponents of CONFU "contend that the Guidelines excessively restrict the scope of fair use").