February means Fair Use Week! This week of February 20 – 24 marks the tradition of reflecting on and appreciating the importance of the Fair Use doctrine in copyright law.
Come by the library and visit our Fair Use Week display to learn more and to test your Fair Use interpretation skills!
Copyright is a set of exclusive legal rights granted to the creators of works that allows them to control the copying, reuse, redistribution, creation of derivatives, and performance of their works. While copyright allows creators to benefit from their works, particularly financially, copyright also has some important limitations that benefit the public, including term limits and the public domain.
Fair use is one of these important legal limitations, and it allows for the use of copyrighted materials without permission under certain circumstances. It is an interpretation of one's use of copyrighted material, where the benefits of use outweigh the exclusive rights of the copyright holder. Fair Use is an important public benefit; the reuse of existing cultural and scientific materials is an integral part of creating new works, conducting new research, teaching, and engaging in discourse.
To make a Fair Use determination, each of four factors is considered together and on a case-by-case basis. While typical fair uses include commentary and parody, reporting and research, education, and transformative uses such as indexing for search, these uses in themselves do not guarantee that one’s use is a Fair Use. Each use must be evaluated for its purpose, the nature of the work being used, the amount of the work being used, and the effect that the use will have on value of the work being used.
More information is available through these online resources: