If you are interested in copyright, then you may be interested in this. In 2006, the Center for Intellectual Property at University of Maryland University College published The Center for Intellectual Property Handbook. Clifford Lynch wrote chapter 9 entitled "Copyright Law, Intellectual Property Policy, And Academic Culture" and that chapter is available for free on the CIP web site.
In the chapter, Lynch argues that we are narrowing our rights by seeking permission to use materials when permission is not needed. Why? Because academic institutions have become risk averse. I would argue that our culture has become more litigious and so we're all more risk adverse. Let's seek permission - just to be sure - rather than use the rights given to use in copyright law.