We are back on Copyright and this is a fairly big week for one branch of it. It is FAIR USE WEEK, 2018, a chance for debates, discussions and general contribution to the acknowledgement of fair use and its impact on usability. What does Fair use mean for users of copyrighted works?
Remembering the automatic ammunition of copyright upon creation of creative works means that it is a stringent and oft rigid protection which gives the author full control on how their work is used. The notion of copyright is that you need the permission of the owner of that work before making use of it.
Permissions, ah! The path of despair upon which many must face, and few reach nirvana!
Luckily, there lies a “Jack-in-the-box” in one modern hero of copyright exceptions. We shall call her Lady Fair Use (sometimes known as Madame Fair Dealing). Because, only a true lady lays down explicit instructions on how her affairs should be run and expects them to be followed to the letter.
She is a refuge to those who need her but a plague to those whose works are being used.
Lady Fair use, holds those who want to use another’s copyrighted work, close to her bosoms and protects them from copyright infringement, on condition that they meet some explicit conditions (You have to give measure for measure if you are going to lay on the bosom).
And if you meet those factors, you have a free pass to use the work for the intended purpose, without any necessary permissions from the copyright owner. That is the public interest bit of copyright.
So, back to the bosom.
Whilst you are here, with your incriminating material at hand, this is what Lady Fair Use shall ask of you, in order to make peace with the copyrighted work. “PANE it”.
- Bring the PURPOSE of your use within any of the categories of personal use, study, research, teaching, criticism, review, comment, parody, satire and news reporting. Non-commercial use of the work will make us have more empathy for you.
- Make sure that the AMOUNT you use is minimal in relation to the overall work (anywhere between 5-15%) of the overall work is usually feasible.
- Ensure that the NATURE of the work you are using is published (made available to the public) and it is better to use factual works than non-factual (fantasy) works.
- Ensure that your use of that limited portion has minimal EFFECT on the economic market of the original work.
If you can bring yourself within the ambit of at least these four factors, you are at liberty to use limited portions of the copyrighted work without further permissions from the owner.
And Lady Fair Use will count her duty discharged.