By: Dominique Kowalick
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.