Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Fair Use Definition:

A statutory exemption to copyright for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

Related Terms: Trademark, Nominative Fair Use, Research, Copyright, Fair Dealing

Similar to the fair dealing statutory exemption to the exclusivity in a copyrighted work granted to the author, extended in some common law jurisdictions and, arguably, identical but in name.

However, since fair use or fair dealing are both essentially creatures of statute (as has become the whole body of copyright law), they necessarily differ to the extent of the statutory definitions.

The United States of America prefers the term fair use to fair dealing and defines fair use in Chapter 17 Copyright of the United States Code, §107:

"... the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;he nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

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