Last week the attention of much of the publishing industry was focused on New York City’s Javits Center, where many in the book business gathered for BookExpo, the industry’s largest trade fair. As part of the conference, the Authors Guild sponsored a copyright panel, worked a booth where staff were on hand to answer questions, and hosted a networking event for Guild members.

At the Guild’s panel, “What Authors and Publishers Need to Know About Fair Use,” executive director Mary Rasenberger moderated a discussion with copyright experts June Besek of Columbia Law, Roy Kaufman of the Copyright Clearance Center, and Nancy Wolff of Cowan, DeBates, Abrahams & Shepphard. The panelists discussed the fair use exception to copyright infringement and broke down the complicated legal doctrine for a literary audience, focusing on how the changing law affects authors and publishers. The lawyers discussed the four main factors courts consider in determining whether a use is fair; how authors and publishers should assess the risks of using excerpts from others’ works; and how authors and publishers should proceed when they find their work being used in a manner that may exceed fair use.

Meanwhile, the Authors Guild staff manned a booth on the conference floor, answering authors’ and agents’ questions about the Guild’s current advocacy initiatives, the changing nature of the publishing industry, and book contracts.

On the first afternoon of the conference, Authors Guild president James Gleick hosted a coffee social where AG members mingled with Gleick and other authors, as well as agents and Authors Guild staff.

If you missed us at BookExpo—or missed the event entirely—you can see a recap on our Twitter feed @AuthorsGuild. Those interested in the fair use panel can catch a reprise this Wednesday, June 7 at 2:00 pm via a live webinar. You can sign up here.

Next year BookExpo will again be held in New York City, from May 30—June 1.