Fair Use

By: Dominique Kowalick

What is Fair Use?

Fair Use is any copying of copyrighted material for a limited purpose. This can be to comment on, criticize, or parody a work. This can be done without permission of the owner. In other words, Fair Use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement.

How Does Fair Use Fit With Copyright Law?

Copyright Law gives copyright holders a set of rights for

a limited time period. In exchange for this, creators enrich society by

contributing to the growth of science, education and the arts. Copyright law does not, however, give copyright holders complete control of their works.

Copyrighted works move into “the public domain” and are available for unlimited use by

the public when the copyright term expires. Before

works enter the public domain, the public is free to make “fair uses” of copyrighted

works. By carving out a space for creative uses of music, literature, movies, and so on, even

while the works are protected by copyright, fair use helps to reduce a tension between

copyright law and the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression.