Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fair Use Week

What is Fair Use and Why Should I Care? 

Fair use is the right to reuse existing copyrighted materials without permission under certain circumstances. It is very flexible. If you have ever written a book review or used a movie clip in class to illustrate a point, you have relied on fair use. So have writers of parody songs, documentary filmmakers, museums, publishers who translate works into Braille, and even Google.

To decide whether a use is fair, you need to weigh 4 factors:

  • ·         The purpose and character of the use
  • ·         The nature of the copyrighted work
  • ·         The portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  • ·         The effect of the use upon  the potential market
You can use a fair use checklist to help you judge whether a use is likely to be fair. The following catchphrase is also a good rule of thumb: Use fairly. Not too much. Have reasons. Ask yourself: Am I doing something new with this? Or am I just copying the work for its same purpose? And does the amount I’m using make sense for what I’m trying to do? 

There are a lot of misconceptions about fair use, but it is an important right to protect. To learn more, click on the links in this article or follow Fair Use Week on Twitter