Fair Use is the doctrine in American copyright law pertaining to the utilization of copyrighted works without the supposed necessity of economic reimbursement or artistic license. Because the application of this doctrine to cases of copyright infringement and utilization has rendered an exact definition of the doctrine elusive, law has been unable to reflect a statutory definition. The doctrine was finally recognized by statute in the Copyright Act of 1976, which was part of a greater general revision of American copyright laws.
Fair Use According to Copyright LawEdit
§107 in Title 17 of the United States Code consists of the fair use doctrine as recognized by statute:
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include— (1) the purpose and character of the 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. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.