Copyright Fair Use - Intellectual Property - Blog

What is fair use & when are you infringing on someone’s copyright?

Making sure no one is using your work of art requires copyright owners to perform due diligence regularly. It is also necessary that one know the difference between copyright infringement & fair use.

Copyright infringement is when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner. Under these circumstances, rights owners and their lawyer can require the infringing party to “cease and desist.” This is why it is beneficial to hire an intellectual property attorney to craft this letter for you, as it can clear the way for the filing party to bring legal action for noncompliance.

Our litigation teams are looking for a few things when evaluating infringement cases:

  1. the purpose and character of use
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

However, fair use comes into play for academic and entertainment purposes.

“In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work (Stim & law, 2017).”

Fair use guidelines were created to protect people who are using copyrighted works for noncommercial, educational, scientific, or historical purposes. As a result, fair use has expansive meaning, functioning off general guidelines and varied court decisions.

A humorous example of fair use & infringement would be:

Fair use would be quoting a couple lines of a bad Nickelback song in a music review.

Copyright infringement would be playing their bad songs on your company TV commercial without licensing.

Understanding what to know about copyright infringement & fair use is essential. Let us help, call Stanton IP Law Firm today!

CategoryBlog, Copyright Law

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