Fair use is hard at work, in places where you might not even realize or might take for granted. Since this week is Fair Use Week, let’s celebrate the doctrine in Copyright Law that allows for the use of existing cultural and scientific material without permission, under certain circumstances, in order to promote innovation, creativity, and scholarship, fair use! And, let’s take a moment to recognize all that fair use provides us…
News reporting – Fair use allows reporters to show previously created content to provide appropriate context around current events, giving the audience a better understanding of events that are unfolding.
Database Searching – Information can be indexed and searched, expediting discovery since fair use allows for the copying and ingestion of copyrighted works into searchable databases.
Text and Data Mining – The creation of searchable databases is a transformative fair use in which the copyrighted work is being used for a different purpose than its original intent. Internet search engines, plagiarism detection software, and other databases rely on this.
Art – Fair use facilitates the use of culturally and historically significant clips and artifacts in various forms of entertainment. Appropriation art, such as Andy Warhol’s paintings of Campbell’s soup cans, relies extensively on preexisting works.
Fan fiction – Fair use permits the use of existing characters, songs, and audiovisual clips in the creation of new, user-generated content.
Parodies – Since it is comedic commentary about a work, that, by definition, requires an imitation of the work to make its point, fair use allows it.
Documentary films – There are many ways in which documentary films may use copyrighted material. Some examples include, for social or political critique, to illustrate points of argument, incidentally while filming something else, or in historical sequences.
Adapted from the Fair Use Promotes the Creation of New Knowledge Infographic
Post contributed by Judy Rabinowitz
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