The legal concept of fair use touches our lives every day, especially those who are employed in, or are students at, educational institutions. It is one of the exceptions to copyright law and serves as an important limitation on copyright holders. Fair use is what allows you to make copies of copyrighted articles without asking the author for permission. It is what allows a faculty member to show movies in their classes without securing public performance rights.
Fair use as a legal doctrine came about in 1841 when Justice Joseph Story, in the case of Folsom v. Marsh, wrote the decision that led to fair use as a part of the copyright law.
The infographic accompanying this blog post talks about fair use fundamentals. Fair use is more common than you may think. Fair use is a right that has been upheld by the United States Supreme Court. Still, it cannot be used indiscriminately. There are four factors that must be applied to determine fair use:
• 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; and,
• The effect of the use upon the potential market.
Fair Use Week is typically the last week in February. This year it is February 22-26, 2016. You can learn more at: http://www.fairuseweek.org.