What is fair use?

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Fair use refers to a policy that is covered under the Copyright law which allows use of copyrighted material without necessarily having to seek a permit from the original writer or author for example. Through fair use, some or part of the contents of copyrighted material may be used freely. The interpretation and application of fair use is not as straightforward and specific as one would like it but rather this policy is to be interpreted to cover the broad sense of what can be freely used on a limited or temporary basis when it comes to copyrighted material.

Research and teaching are some of many examples wherein the fair use policy may be applied. When a student uses some ideas or paragraphs from a copyrighted material like books or magazines for research purposes, he/she is not obliged to get permission from the author to do so. In this particular case, the student involve may cite passages or entries on a book or magazine as an example for his//her new idea. The student in this case is simply borrowing the idea from a copyrighted material for his/her on research and does not constitute an infringement of the copyright laws. News reporting is also another way to practice or implement the fair use policy. In this case, the person involved will merely report on the facts as taken from the copyrighted source. Making reviews, criticisms, or parodies on a chosen copyrighted material is alo protected under the fair use provision of the copyright law. In these cases, the material being used may actually benefit from the overall comment or review from other people.

Various points are to be considered when reviewing items or cases wherein fair use is in question. The use of copyrighted material is protected under law but there are a lot of exceptions in terms of seeking authorization from the rightful owners of a given material. For disputes regarding fair use or infringement of copyright, extensive review of facts and circumstances is done to ensure that the parties involved are given fair treatment.

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