Fair Use and Public Domain

Subject: Fair Use and Public Domain
From: John Crosby (JOHN-C@sla.org)
Date: ke 23 huhti  1997 - 18:42:48 EEST

This is a direct quotation from the Stanford University Fair Use
web site. You can view it at http://fairuse.stanford.edu.

(of the U.S. Copyright Act). Limitations on exclusive rights:
Fair Use

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
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;
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The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding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.

A work in the public domain can be copied freely by anyone. Such
works include those of the U.S. Government and works for which the
copyright has expired. Generally, for works created after 1978, the
copyright lasts for fifty years beyond the life of the author. Works
created before, but not published before, 1978 have special rules. For
works created and first published between 1950 and 1978 the copyright
lasts 75 years. For works created and first published before 1950, it
lasts for 28 years but could have been renewed for another 28 years.
When planning a project, start by identifying works in the public domain
that can be reused in the new work. Request permissions for materials
not in the public domain early in the project. It is easier to redesign
a project in the beginning stages if you discover that permission to
copy cannot be obtained for certain images or sounds.

John Crosby Director, Government Relations
Special Libraries Association (202) 234-4700, ext. 629
1700 18th Street, N.W. FAX: (202) 265-9317
Washington, D.C. 20009-2514 john-c@sla.org

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