fair use doctrine

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Related to fair use doctrine: Digital Millennium Copyright Act

fair use doctrine

An exception within the U.S. copyright law that allows excerpts from copyrighted material to be quoted and used in another publication. For example, a paragraph excerpted from a book would be considered fair use as long as the original work is cited. However, if a poem in its entirety is only one paragraph, or as in the case with this publication, a definition in its entirety is only one paragraph, copying that one paragraph without permission is copyright infringement, not fair use.

Fair use may be legally interpreted on a case-by-case basis. For example, years ago in the Betamax litigation regarding videotaping, the court stated it was fair use to copy an entire movie for the purpose of watching it later.

How We Employ Fair Use
In this encyclopedia, we use images of vendor products under the fair use doctrine, because the image is already displayed on the vendor's public website and is available to everyone. Most importantly, our image caption explains what the product is and where it came from. However, if an image from a vendor's site were copied without permission for use as a background on another website or in an advertisement for another product or service, it would not be fair use.

Around the World
The U.S., Canada, Israel and South Korea have fair use policies. The rest of the world varies greatly with respect to the subject. See copyright.
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46) Since the earliest application of the Fair Use Doctrine,(47) American courts have held that use of copyrighted work which is transformative is the kind of activity that the Fair Use Doctrine is designed to permit.
The second factor that guides the application of the Fair Use Doctrine weighs the nature of the copyrighted work in relation to its established purpose.
While the courts have found relatively small quantitative uses to be within the Fair Use Doctrine.