Summary. Below is a generic copyright and fair use statement for bloggers, website owners, and educators who use various forms of intellectual property and media in their social commentaries and teaching. The statement below addresses the unique circumstances of bloggers and authors of on-demand publications where any commercial gain is minimal or non-existant. Please contact us with any suggestions for improvement.
Resources. To evaluate your own materials, some resources are avaialble:
- Columbia Copyright Advisory Office – Fair Use Checklist
- Copyright.gov Fair use Description
- Fair Use Evaluator
- Stanford Fair Use Center
- Wikipedia – Fair Use
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Copyright and Fair Use
This website contains some quotations and excerpts from copyrighted material. These uses fall well within the copyright doctrine of “Fair Use.”
Section 107 of the United States Code, Title 17, specifies the conditions under which, “the fair use of a copyrighted work . . . for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching . . ., scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.” It provides four considerations for determining fair use: (1) The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of 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 use on this website of other material is primarily for “criticism, comment, news reporting, scholarship or research” (and to some extent teaching). (1) (a) The “purpose and character” of the website (with no advertising) and any derivative book(s) (with few on-demand copies) are not “commercial.” (b) The overwhelming majority of the material is the author’s original work. It is in no way a mere collection of others’ copyrighted works, nor competitive with those sources. (2) The “nature of the copyrighted work” quoted is often “news” or “history,” categories given lesser protection in fair use cases than works of fiction. (3) Most uses involve excerpts rather than entire works.
Because the adverse financial impact on copyright owners is central to the purpose of copyright law, and the analysis of alleged violations, it’s relevant to note that, under factor (4), (a) no one in search of the quoted material would substitute this blog or book for the original source, (b) it is highly unlikely this website (or book created from it) will ever have more than a de minimis impact on any of the copyright works’ potential market, and (c) to the extent it might do so, it would be far more likely be a positive, rather than a negative, impact (by drawing attention to the work, crediting it, and providing a source where it may be found).
Finally, to the extent any copyright owner may wish, consideration will be given to all reasonable requests that copyright material be removed from this website and from future on-demand printings (there would be no back stock of books).