fair use doctrine

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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.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
Finally, even if stronger fair use protections did, on balance,
Perhaps fair use should provide greater protection for art or even
(3.) See, e.g., Pamela Samuelson, Possible Futures of Fair Use, 90
the outcome of the fair use analysis is often determined by the first
improvement in how courts analyze the first fair use factor.
with respect to establishing fair use. But this does not mean that fair
allegation through a showing of fair use is what makes the cause of
From the inception of fair use, the purpose of the fair-use doctrine has been to alleviate the tension between copyright and free speech.
Of course not every assertion of fair use raises uncertainty.