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Debate: Fair Use

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Current revision (07:38, 22 April 2010) (edit)
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(See also)
 
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===Is the US government 'fair use' copyright clause a good thing?=== ===Is the US government 'fair use' copyright clause a good thing?===
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-===Background and Context of Debate:===+===Background and context ===
One of the rights accorded to the owner of copyright is the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords. This right is subject to certain limitations found in sections 107 through 118 of the Copyright Act (title 17, U. S. Code). One of the more important limitations is the doctrine of “fair use.” Although fair use was not mentioned in the previous copyright law, the doctrine has developed through a substantial number of court decisions over the years. This doctrine has been codified in section 107 of the copyright law. One of the rights accorded to the owner of copyright is the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords. This right is subject to certain limitations found in sections 107 through 118 of the Copyright Act (title 17, U. S. Code). One of the more important limitations is the doctrine of “fair use.” Although fair use was not mentioned in the previous copyright law, the doctrine has developed through a substantial number of court decisions over the years. This doctrine has been codified in section 107 of the copyright law.
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'''For more background.''' See [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use Wikipedia: "Fair Use"]. '''For more background.''' See [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use Wikipedia: "Fair Use"].
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*'''Fair use doesn't give copyright holders enough rights'''. Fair Use allows people to copy (under certain conditions) without the permission of the person who created the work. Some people may argue that this means that people will lose some of their rights that they deserve. *'''Fair use doesn't give copyright holders enough rights'''. Fair Use allows people to copy (under certain conditions) without the permission of the person who created the work. Some people may argue that this means that people will lose some of their rights that they deserve.
- +*'''Difficulties in defining Fair Use leads to wasteful court-battles.''' "Fair use" involves drawing a line in the sand between what is fair use of copyrighted content and what is not. The problem is that defining this line is as much art as anything else. The context of the use matters greatly, such as whether the user intends to use the content for commercial and non-commercial purposes. The problem is that the flexibility of the definition causes many copyright holders to sue even if their case is not too strong. This is expensive for all parties involved and ultimately more costly overall than it is worth.
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 +==See also==
 +*[[Debate: File-sharing]]
 +*[[Debate: Is file sharing fair use?]]
 +==External links and resources==
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 +[[Category:Copyright law]]
 +[[Category:Law]]
 +[[Category:Property law]]
 +[[Category:Individual rights]]
 +[[Category:Business]]
 +[[Category:Underdeveloped debates]]

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Is the US government 'fair use' copyright clause a good thing?

Background and context

One of the rights accorded to the owner of copyright is the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords. This right is subject to certain limitations found in sections 107 through 118 of the Copyright Act (title 17, U. S. Code). One of the more important limitations is the doctrine of “fair use.” Although fair use was not mentioned in the previous copyright law, the doctrine has developed through a substantial number of court decisions over the years. This doctrine has been codified in section 107 of the copyright law.

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • The nature of the copyrighted work; 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.

The distinction between “fair use” and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author's observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”

Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself; it does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work.

This information is copied from a US Government web page. US government websites are not copyrighted.

For more background. See Wikipedia: "Fair Use".

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Should Fair Use exist?

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Yes

  • Fair Use allows reasonable copying of copyrighted works. Fair use allows a reasonable level of use of copyrighted works, while still allowing people to keep most of the rights to their work.
  • Fair Use provides sufficient protection to copyright-holders to generate significant revenues. "Fair Use Economy Represents 'One-Sixth of U.S. GDP'." Computer and Communications Industry Association. September 12th, 2007 - "Fair Use exceptions to U.S. copyright laws are responsible for more than $4.5 trillion in annual revenue for the United States, according to the findings of an unprecedented economic study released today. According to the study commissioned by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and conducted in accordance with a World Intellectual Property Organization methodology, companies benefiting from limitations on copyright-holders’ exclusive rights, such as 'fair use' – generate substantial revenue, employ millions of workers, and, in 2006, represented one-sixth of total U.S. GDP."



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No

  • Fair use doesn't give copyright holders enough rights. Fair Use allows people to copy (under certain conditions) without the permission of the person who created the work. Some people may argue that this means that people will lose some of their rights that they deserve.
  • Difficulties in defining Fair Use leads to wasteful court-battles. "Fair use" involves drawing a line in the sand between what is fair use of copyrighted content and what is not. The problem is that defining this line is as much art as anything else. The context of the use matters greatly, such as whether the user intends to use the content for commercial and non-commercial purposes. The problem is that the flexibility of the definition causes many copyright holders to sue even if their case is not too strong. This is expensive for all parties involved and ultimately more costly overall than it is worth.



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Yes

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No

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