Copyright Law – Fair Use Index

In the United States, one of the most important principles of copyright law is the “fair use” doctrine. While the author of a work typically possesses an exclusive right to the use of the work, the “fair use” of the copyrighted work is a defense to an infringement claim. See 17 U.S.C.  § 107.  The tasks for the courts is to apply a 4 factor test to determine whether or not the use of the copyrighted work is “fair use.”

With the goal to make the principles and application of the fair use doctrine better understandable for the public, the website of the US Copyright Office includes a link to a searchable database which contains annotated summaries of judicial decisions. This Fair Use Index should serve as a helpful additional source for anyone considering the use and reproduction of copyrighted material.

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