Fair use doctrine
The fair use doctrine is a dense against a claim for the infringement of intellectual property. Under this doctrine, some part of copyrighted work can be used without the permission of the copyright holder. It excuses the unauthorised use of copyright material provided that there is a fair use of the material. The doctrine is founded on the understanding that not all copying is illegal especially in socially important undertaking s such as reporting, criticism, research and teaching. In order for an action to be protected under the fair use doctrine, the use of the materials for non-commercial purposes, the nature of the copyright work, the amount of work used and the effect of the use on the value of the copyrighted work.
In Lenz v Universal Music Corp. (2015), the court held that holders of copyright material must consider the principle of fair use before issuing notice to take down content on the internet. The claimant had posted on YouTube a video of her children dancing to a song by Prince whose copyright was held by the defendant. The defendant had sent a takedown notice claiming that the video violated their copyright to the song. The plaintiff claimed fair use of the song. The issue was whether the use of the song in the video was within the scope of the fair use doctrine. The court observed that although fair use is an affirmative defense, the holders of a copyright have a duty to consider whether the use of the materials constitutes fair use. The court noted that fair use id not an excuse to infringe on copyrighted material but rather a non-infringement. Because it is an authorised use of the material, the copyright holder must consider the fair use of the material.
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...ork without permission. The doctrine is intended to prevent the rigid application of laws on copyright that would otherwise hinder the creativity protected by the law. In balancing these interests, application of the doctrine is restricted to occasions where the use of the copied material is used for non-commercial purposes. The amount of the work copied should form a substantial part of the original work and should not have an effect on the value of this original work. In essence fair use applies to the use of the material for education, journalism and research. Because it would be unfair for the producers not to have control over what they produce and it would be impractical to deny access to information for the benefit of society, the fair use doctrine ensures a balance between these interests.
Lenz v Universal Music Corp. 801 F. 3d 1126 (2015)
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