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Copyrighting : Page 5

In this section, you'll learn how to keep out of trouble when working with material on the Web.


Fair Use

Under most conditions, you are not allowed to use Copyright Material without obtaining permission form the Copyright holder. But the Fair Use Provision allows you to use use Copyright Material in a few circumstances.

You can quote excerpts from a piece of original work in certain situations, including educational, research purposes and reviewing purposes.

When a movie or a book reviewer quotes material from the book or movie, they are not violating Copyright under the Fair Use Act. This is because the reviewer is using the material to exemplify the work. They are not reproducing the work in it's entirety, or alluding that the work may be their own. This provision also protects educational institutions. The Fair Use Provision makes it possible for professors to quote excerpts form a book at the beginning of class, or for librarians to photocopy certain sections of material.

Even under the Fair Use provision, however, you should always attribute the creator of the work you are citing. You should also be sure that you are only using as little material as needed to illustrate your point.

Fair Use is often difficult to prove in a court of law. To be on the safe side, obtain a license, or permission before using Copyright material.

Note: "Fair use" is a U.S. legal principle that has no parallel in many other countries. So make sure to do your homework.
—Thanks to Lar Kaufman, Esq., of Concord, Massachusetts for pointing that out.

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