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Fair Use Policy
We claim all of the rights accorded to the owner of
copyrights and intellectual properties, including the right to control the
reproduction and use of such materials or to authorize others to reproduce and
use our work. Our rights in this regard are subject to certain limitations and
protections found in sections 107 through 118 of the federal copyright law (U.S. Code Title 17), in the common law, and
elsewhere. One of the more important limitations is known as the
doctrine of “fair use”. This doctrine of fair use has been developed and
defined through decades of litigation. We would prefer to avoid litigation to
protect our rights and hope that this document helps accomplish such by making
you aware of our position and rights.
The law contains a list of the various purposes for which
the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair”. Examples
MIGHT include criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and
research. Federal law also sets out four factors to be considered in
determining whether or not a particular use is fair:
The purpose and character of the use, including whether such
use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
The nature of the copyrighted work.
The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation
to the copyrighted work as a whole.
The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value
of, the copyrighted work.
Although the distinction between fair use and
infringement is not always easily defined, we would agree that misuse is
generally more apparent. So, although there is no specific number of words,
lines, or notes that may legally be used, taken, or reproduced without
permission, there are some actions that clearly infringe upon proprietary
rights, ownership rights, intellectual property rights, and the privileges
associated with such. Why not check with the owner to see whether they think
your use is “fair”?
By the way, one common misconception is that
acknowledging the source of material or the copyright owner is a substitute
for obtaining permission – it is NOT. Examples of activities that courts
have regarded as fair use might include:
quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of
illustration or comment;
quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work,
for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations;
use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied;
summary of an address or article, with brief quotations,
reference in a news report;
reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace
part of a damaged copy;
reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work
to illustrate a lesson;
reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings
or reports; and
incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or
broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.
A formal copyright protects the particular way an author
has expressed himself. Copyrights do not extend to any ideas, systems, or
factual information conveyed in the work, so other legal protections exist for
such. The safest course is always to get permission from the material’s
owner before using it. No one else can give you permission to use protected
materials. When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of our material
should be avoided unless the doctrine of fair use would clearly apply to the
situation. Keep in mind, what may seem fair to you may seem like stealing to
We happily grant “fair use” permission for legitimate
needs and uses – generally consistent with the list above AND we would be
happy to consider your request for other special permissions. Just use the
contact/comment form on this website.
me know if you have comments about or corrections for this web site.