What is Fair Use of a Copyright?
When Using a Copyrighted Work is Okay
If you still have questions or prefer to get help directly from an agent, please submit a request.
We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
- Marketing, Advertising, Sales & PR
- Accounting, Taxation, and Reporting
- Professionalism & Career Development
Law, Transactions, & Risk Management
Government, Legal System, Administrative Law, & Constitutional Law Legal Disputes - Civil & Criminal Law Agency Law HR, Employment, Labor, & Discrimination Business Entities, Corporate Governance & Ownership Business Transactions, Antitrust, & Securities Law Real Estate, Personal, & Intellectual Property Commercial Law: Contract, Payments, Security Interests, & Bankruptcy Consumer Protection Insurance & Risk Management Immigration Law Environmental Protection Law Inheritance, Estates, and Trusts
- Business Management & Operations
- Economics, Finance, & Analytics
How does a court determine if use of a copyright constitutes Fair Use?
The most disputed affirmative defense to copyright infringement is likely the fair use of the copyrighted work. To constitute fair use, the use of the work generally must not be extensive and not cause a negative impact on the copyright holder. The doctrine does not protect activity that is used to diminish the value of the copyright to the rightful holder. In determining whether use of a copyright constitutes fair use, a court will employ several factors in examining the nature and extent of the use. These factors include:
Purpose of the Use - If the purpose of the use was for a non-profit purpose, it is more likely to be protected as a fair use than a commercial activity.
Nature of the Work - What type of copyright is claimed. If the work was created for a commercial purpose, it may demand higher protection. Likewise, a work made for entertainment or a fictional work, may afford greater protection than a fact-based work.
Extent of the Use - If the use was incidental or a very small portion of the work was used, it is more likely to be a fair use. Also, if the work was used as collaboration or as part of a larger project, it may be transformative in nature. A work that sufficiently transforms the original work may be fair use.
Economic or Market Impact - If the use of the copyrighted work causes a negative market or economic impact on the use or value of the original work, it is less likely to be fair use.
Next Article: What is the First Sale Doctrine? Back to: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
What do you think about the fair use doctrine? Can you think of any other factors that should be considered in determining fair use?
Tracy is a professor at a large state college. In her class of 300 students, she uses excerpts from a popular business book. The author, who is struggling to repay debt from his unsuccessful run for Congress, decides to sue her and the university for copyright infringement. Tracy claims that her use of excerpts from the book is fair use. What factors will the court consider in determining whether the Tracy's use constitutes fair use of the copyrighted work?
- Intellectual Property Law (Intro)
- What is Intellectual Property?
- What is the purpose in granting intellectual property rights?
- What is required to capture or secure intellectual property rights?
- California Labor Code 2870
- What are Trade Secrets?
- Non-Disclosure Agreement
- Patents or patent rights?
- Letters Patent
- Primary types of patents?
- What Can I Patent?
- Requirements for a valid patent?
- Can your Invention be Patented?
- What is a Patentability Search?
- When is a Patentability Search Necessary?
- Why is a Patent Search Important?
- Requirements for a design patent?
- How to Do a Design Patent Search
- Cost of a Design Patent
- Requirements for a utility patent?
- Why Do You Need a Utility Patent?
- Plant Patent?
- Process for securing patent rights?
- Patent Search
- Basics of Doing a Patent Search
- 5 Rules for Effective Patent Searches
- What are Patent Databases?
- Tools for Patent Searches
- DIY Patent Search
- Understanding Patent Keyword Searches
- Patent Searches for Software
- Doing a European Patent Search
- WIPO Patent Search
- Cost of Doing a Patent Search
- Patent Search vs Patent Analysis
- Structure of a Patent
- Patent Filing Date
- Patent Attorney
- Do You Need a Patent Lawyer?
- Applying for Design patent
- Provisional Patent?
- Applying for Provisional Patent
- Doing a Provisional Patent Search
- How to Draw Up a Provisional Patent
- Converting a Provisional Patent to a Non-Provisional Patent
- What Does Patent Pending Mean?
- Process for enforcing ones patent rights?
- Patent Infringement
- Patent Troll
- What is a Trademark?
- Types of trademark?
- Requirements to capture trademark rights?
- Distinctiveness requirement for a Trademark?
- Determining whether a trademark is sufficient distinctive?
- What is Federal Trademark Registration?
- Conducting Trademark Search
- Should I Conduct a Trademark Search?
- Trademark Application
- Drawing a Trademark
- Filing for federal trademark registration?
- Protections of trademark rights under state law?
- Primary reasons for rejecting a trademark application?
- Common trademark designations?
- Trademark infringement?
- Enforce trademark rights?
- Demonstrate infringement of a trademark?
What is a copyright?
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA Explained
- Basics of Copyright Law
- What are the rights of a holder of a copyright?
- What are the elements of a copyright?
- How long is the period of copyright protection?
- What is the process for registering a copyright?
- Who may claim and secure copyright protection?
- What are infringement and the process for enforcing a copyright?
- What are the defenses available against a claim of copyright infringement?
- Public Domain Works
- Licensing Agreement
- End User License Agreement
- What is Fair Use of copyright?
- What is the First Sale Doctrine?
- What international protections exist for intellectual property rights?
- Paris Convention