The Fair

The Fair Use is one of the key copyright exceptions that refers to the utilization of copyrighted properties without necessarily obtaining permission. I trust that the Fair Use exception is truly fair as long as the use of the copyrighted material can be considered fair. First, it is important to clarify what exactly the Fair Use exception entails. Generally, the Fair Use exception refers to the utilization or use of copyrighted materials without obtaining permission from the owner (commonly referred to as copyright owner). The fair use provision serves as a tool for people to utilize copyrighted materials without obtaining consent from copyright owners. Most times, people under the age of 18 years old may fall under the protection of this law. If a person does not obtain consent from an author for using his/her work, it is considered as a fair use and therefore legal.

However, there are four rules of fair use that must be adhered to. The first factor is the Purpose and Character of the Use, the second rule is The Nature of the Copyrighted Work, the third factor being The Amount or Substantiality of the Portion Used, and the last factor being The Effect of the Use on the Potential Market for or Value of the Work (Loren, 2015). Some things that the Fair Use law probably did not consider like making a full copy of a book and selling it, or copying someone’s ideas and selling them as yours, but if the purpose is to profit from it, then it is probably not fair use.

Some people might think that in order to be protected under the fair use provision, one must photocopy an entire book and sell it because they can’t afford to buy the original copy. The problem with this is that most books have copyright. So even if you photocopy a 3rd edition of Twilight, it would still be violating copyright laws because you already have the first edition of Twilight. Therefore, photocopying an entire book without the author’s consent would not be a fair use.

As long as the purpose of the use of copyrighted material is not to profit, it is considered to be legal under the law of fair use, even though there are strict regulations that should be adhered to. In addition to this, there are different forms of fair use. The most common form is using small excerpts from copyrighted material for news reporting or criticism if the copyright owner agreed to it. Another form is using clips from a film clip in documentaries or other uses that require more than an excerpt which would allow for more freedom in how you can utilize these clips and still abide by these guidelines (Loren, 2015).


Loren, L. P. (2015). Fair use: an affirmative defense. Wash. L. Rev., 90, 685.