What Is Fair Use

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  • 1. What is Fair Use?
  • 2. Important Terms
    • Copyright law says that you have to get permission if you want to use someone’s song, video, photograph, article, etc.
    • Fair use says that sometimes you don’t have to get permission to use someone’s creative work, even if it is copyrighted.
    Image by Flickr user PugnoM , used by Creative Commons license
  • 3. How Do We Know?
    • Four Factors of Fair Use:
    • purpose and character of use
    • nature of copyrighted work
    • amount of substantiality of work used
    • effect of use upon potential market
    Image by Flickr user PugnoM , used by Creative Commons license
  • 4. Factor #1: Purpose and Character of Use
    • Has the original work been transformed with new expression or meaning?
    • Was value added to the original work by creating new information, understandings, etc.?
    Image by Flickr user dave_mcmt , used by Creative Commons license
  • 5. Factor #1: Purpose and Character of Use
    • Examples:
    • education
    • review or criticism
    • parody
  • 6. Factor #2: Nature of Copyrighted Work
    • Does the work consist mostly of facts or information, or is it more creative?
    • Is the work published or unpublished?
    Image by Flickr user Muffet , used by Creative Commons license
  • 7. Factor #3: Amount/Substantiality of Portion Used
    • The less you use, the more likely it is fair use.
    • A guideline is 10%.
    • Even small portions can be infringements if they are the “heart” of the work.
    Image by Flickr user Maui in Vermont , used by Creative Commons license
  • 8. Factor #4: Effect of Use on Potential Market
    • Does your use deprive the artist of income?
    • Does it hurt the market or the future market for the original work?
    Image by Flickr user TracyO , used by Creative Commons license
  • 9. Main Points
    • The first factor (purpose of use) is considered the most important.
    • Judges consider all four factors when ruling in copyright cases.
    • Judges have lots of leeway to interpret the factors when they make their ruling.
    Image by Flickr user Joe Gratz , used by Creative Commons license