Fair Use is a term from US copyright law that describes an exception to what is otherwise exclusive rights of the copyright holders of any particular copyright. Generally speaking, copyright provides exclusive rights to the owner, but fair use details some exceptions. These exceptions only apply under specific, special conditions and don’t just allow any use of the copyrighted material.
Technipages Explains Fair Use
In the case of commercial or profit-oriented usage, the fair use policy does not apply, and it’s not allowed to use the copyrighted material without the copyright holder’s explicit permission. Fair use does provide exemptions when it comes to educational or scholarly use – in other words, the lyrics of a song can be quoted, and the song can be played in the setting of a school classroom and for learning purposes. It can, however, not simply be used for entertainment in a classroom, and if the market of the copyrighted work is negatively affected, it may not be used either.
Another scenario that falls under fair use is commenting on a work, for example in a review or criticism, or even in the context of satire. For these purposes though, not the entire work can be used – only whatever part is necessary. A rule of thumb for this is about 5% – more only where absolutely necessary. Something that is covered by the fair use policy can be done and published without permission from the copyright holder – if that wasn’t the case, negative reviews and parodies would never be published.
Common Uses of Fair Use
- The fair use policy protects reviews and critiques from unfair copyright claims.
- Without the fair use policy, it would be difficult to publish any criticism featuring quotations.
- In an educational context, the fair use policy also covers use of material in a classroom or lecture.
Common Misuses of Fair Use
- The fair use policy provides permission for people to use copyrighted material in for-profit situations.