Demystifying the Fair Use Doctrine: The Ultimate Checklist for the Copyright Defense

SundayU Magazine | 3/21/2019 | ruthjacksonlee
Les7799Les7799 (Posted by) Level 3
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You would be hard-pressed to find someone that appreciates a good list as much as I do. I love lists as much as Scully loved de-bunking Mulder’s paranormal findings and alien conspiracies. Whether it be to-do lists, Christmas lists, bucket lists, or pro and con lists (you get the idea), I fancy them all.

Lists are particularly helpful when trying to remember critical information and make difficult decisions. It is no wonder that a checklist can be helpful in determining whether a use of copyrighted material is likely within the limits of “fair use” under U.S. copyright law; a legal concept that has only grown murkier in the digital age where millions of people every day are making or using copyrighted work. Let me explain.

Copyright - Law - Works - Authorship - Photographs

Copyright law protects “original works of authorship,” including photographs, music, videos, and blogs uploaded on social media platforms. A person who creates an original work is immediately the copyright holder of the work.

Copyright holders have several exclusive rights, including the rights to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display their works. Sharing or reposting a person’s copyrighted work on social media platforms could implicate a number of these exclusive rights, and generally constitutes infringement unless a license or permission is obtained from the copyright holder or the use constitutes “fair use.”

Use - Doctrine - Law - Decades - Picture

The fair use doctrine, which was codified into law decades before a picture or video ever went viral, permits the use or reproduction of copyrighted materials “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.”

What falls within the realm of fair use is case-specific and determined after weighing four factors to balance the interests of copyright holders in the control and exploitation of their works...
(Excerpt) Read more at: SundayU Magazine
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