Journalists never used to talk about fair use. It was just built into newsroom practice. But with the evolution of digital platforms and social media, and the reality of rapidly changing business models, not knowing your fair-use rights means not knowing—or even ceding—your free-speech rights under copyright law.

That’s because fair use keeps current copyright holders from being private censors. When you want to employ copyrighted material in the service of journalism, your First-Amendment rights are tucked underneath the fair-use hood.