Copyright & Fair Use
The Federal Copyright Law of 1976, Title 17 of the United States Code which granted exclusive rights to copyright holders was later modified by The Fair Use Statute, Section 107. This Fair Use doctrine balances the copyright holders rights with society's need for copying for news reporting, criticism, teaching, research, scholarship and parody. While the Fair Use doctrine allows limited copying of copyrighted work without obtaining permission from the copyright holder, Fair Use is not clear-cut. Congress deliberately avoided exact parameters for claiming Fair Use to allow for flexibility and instead suggested these four Fair Use guidelines to consider in determining whether a particular use of copyrighted materials is fair use and therefore not an infringement:
1. What is the purpose and character of the use?
2. What is the nature of the work to be used?
3. What is the amount, substantiality or portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
4. What effect would this use have on the potential market for the value of the copyrighted work.
For More Information on Copyright, see our Subject Guide on Copyright