When Copying is Okay: The "Fair Use" Rule

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When Copying is Okay: The "Fair Use" Rule

Post by morinn on Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:48 am

I was just discussing this with Keli and we thought that this rule is awesome! Razz note, it is not a law but a rule.

In some situations, you may make limited use of another's work without asking permission.

Sooner or later, almost all writers quote or closely paraphrase what others have written. For example:

* Andy, putting together a newsletter on his home computer, reprints an editorial he likes from a daily newspaper.
* Phil, a biographer and historian, quotes from several unpublished letters and diaries written by his subject.
* Regina, a freelance writer, closely paraphrases two paragraphs from the Encyclopedia Britannica in an article she's writing.
* Sylvia, a poet, quotes a line from a poem by T.S. Eliot in one of her own poems.
* Donnie, a comedian, writes a parody of the famous song "Blue Moon" he performs in his comedy act.

Assuming the material quoted in these examples is protected by copyright, do Phil, Regina, Sylvia, Andy, and Donnie need permission from the author or other copyright owner to use it? It may surprise you to learn that the answer is "not necessarily."

Under the "fair use" rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission. Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights. If you write or publish, you need a basic understanding of what is and is not fair use.
Uses That Are Generally Fair Uses

Subject to some general limitations discussed later in this article, the following types of uses are usually deemed fair uses:

* Criticism and comment -- for example, quoting or excerpting a work in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment.
* News reporting -- for example, summarizing an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report.
* Research and scholarship -- for example, quoting a short passage in a scholarly, scientific, or technical work for illustration or clarification of the author's observations.
* Nonprofit educational uses -- for example, photocopying of limited portions of written works by teachers for classroom use.
* Parody -- that is, a work that ridicules another, usually well-known, work by imitating it in a comic way.


http://smallbusiness.findlaw.com/copyright/copyright-using/fair-use.html

so from now on if someone tells you you've been copying. You know what to say! Very Happy But be sure what you did is within the parametres of the fair use rule. Wink
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Re: When Copying is Okay: The "Fair Use" Rule

Post by anteblog on Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:58 am

And that is why I fear not! Very Happy
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Re: When Copying is Okay: The "Fair Use" Rule

Post by fadilnet on Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:15 am

doesn't apply to mauritians. hell, even the patent office sucks @ software patents leading you to go on a wild goose chase from masa to fsc only to later inform you that it's impossible to issue a patent for software. sorry for the rant - i'm kinda pissed off @ the bills/laws in this supposedly cyber-island.
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Re: When Copying is Okay: The "Fair Use" Rule

Post by anteblog on Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:23 am

fadilnet wrote:doesn't apply to mauritians. hell, even the patent office sucks @ software patents leading you to go on a wild goose chase from masa to fsc only to later inform you that it's impossible to issue a patent for software. sorry for the rant - i'm kinda pissed off @ the bills/laws in this supposedly cyber-island.

It DOES apply to Mauritians because it is about WRITTEN works. I think you should have read this thoroughly. As for softwares & products, other laws apply.
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Re: When Copying is Okay: The "Fair Use" Rule

Post by fadilnet on Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:45 am

How does one issue a written article or book under the current copyright act while including fair use? Aside from drafting other documents (legal), the current one, AFAIK, doesn't include fair use.
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Re: When Copying is Okay: The "Fair Use" Rule

Post by Mir@ndA on Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:17 am

What I have understood here is that according to the fair use rule, you can quote and copy extracts of someone else's work without asking for permission. it's nice. i mean sometimes you don't know how to state your source. or if there are too many sources, it can get complicated. making use of the fair rule can help us feel less guilty at not having stated a source
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