DonÃ¢Â?Â?t Overstep the Fair Use Copyright Law
Many people are interested in the fair use copyright law. The fair use copyright law enables people to use portions of material that is copyrighted for the purposes of criticism or as commentary. The hard part for many people is understanding what is permissible under the fair use copyright law and what is not permissible. Anyone who writes or publishes should brush up on what is allowed and what is not allowed. Using another personÃ¢Â?Â?s words to make news reports, to use as a comment or criticism or to use for research, scholarship, or for educational uses that are nonprofit are generally considered fair use.
In these instances, the fair use copyright law allows one person or author to make use of another person or authorÃ¢Â?Â?s work without asking permission to do so. In situations that do not fall within these specifications you are probably violating someoneÃ¢Â?Â?s copyright if you use their work Ã¢Â?” especially if you are using another personÃ¢Â?Â?s work for economic or commercial gain.
When you are trying to see if you can use anotherÃ¢Â?Â?s words, you should keep a few things in mind. The answer to the following questions will help you gage whether you would be violating a copyright. First, are you transforming someone elseÃ¢Â?Â?s work or are you copying it? Second, are you going to be making any financial gains from your work that would compete with the original copyright holder? Third, do you have the authorÃ¢Â?Â?s permission to quote their work?
Just because you list the author and give credit to him or her does not protect you from infringing upon someoneÃ¢Â?Â?s copyright. Fourth, how much of the original authorÃ¢Â?Â?s work are you using? If you are using a substantial amount of anotherÃ¢Â?Â?s work, you are probably in direct violation of their copyright. Many publishing companies have set rules on how much material they will allow to be quoted in other sources. Some of these ranges start at 100 words or less.
However, there are truly no standards to go by, so be careful. You can not assume that keeping your copying fewer than 50 words will allow you to pass under the radar Ã¢Â?” especially if the original piece is hovering around 125 words itself! Lastly, what portion of anotherÃ¢Â?Â?s work are you using? If it is the meat of the book and the most important part of the book, you are probably in direct violation of the ownerÃ¢Â?Â?s copyright.
With a little common sense it is not hard to decide if you are violating someoneÃ¢Â?Â?s copyright. People who are truly interested in staying within the guidelines of the fair use copyright law usually do a good job of doing so. Many people push the fair use copyright law right up to the line, while others will blatantly cross over it without giving a second thought to the repercussions. When these people are summoned to court to answer for their vagrant disregard for the property and copyright of another they are usually sorry.
Sorry they got caught! It is very important that people who take advantage of the fair use copyright law are held accountable for their actions. Without accountability many more people would follow in their footsteps and use anotherÃ¢Â?Â?s works as their own.