Mass Communication Law and Ethics

By Roy L. Moore | Go to book overview

APPENDIX G: FAIR USE GUIDELINES FOR EDUCATIONAL MULTIMEDIA1

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Preamble

Fair use is a legal principle that defines the limitations on the exclusive rights2 of copyright holders. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance on the application of fair use principles by educators, scholars and students who develop multimedia projects using portions of copyrighted works under fair use rather than by seeking authorization for non-commercial educational uses. These guidelines apply only to fair use in the context of copyright and to no other rights.

There is no simple test to determine what is fair use. Section 107 of the Copyright Act3 sets forth the four fair use factors which should be considered in each instance, based on particular facts of a given case, to determine whether a use is a "fair use": (1) the purpose and character of use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes, (2) the nature of the copyrighted work, (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

While only the courts can authoritatively determine whether a particular use is fair use, these guidelines represent the endorsers' consensus of conditions under which fair use should generally apply and examples of when permission is required.. Uses that exceed these guidelines may nor may not be fair use. The participants also agree that the more one exceeds these guidelines, the greater the risk that fair use does not apply.

____________________
1
These Guidelines shall not be read to supersede other preexisting education fair use guidelines that deal with the Copyright Act of 1976.
2
See Section 106 of the Copyright Act.
3
The Copyright Act of 1976, as amended, is codified at 17 U.S.C. Sec. 101 et seq. guidelines and clearly indicate the variety of interest groups involved, both from the standpoint of the users of copyrighted material and also from the standpoint of the copyright owners.

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