The Myth of Fair Use — Students & Emerging Pros Beware

Originally posted on Photofocus:

I wanted to take a moment to discuss a concept you’ll often heard thrown around… it’s called Fair Use.  Now, before I go too deep — a few caveats.

  1. I am not a lawyer.
  2. Laws vary country to country.
  3. If you have questions, see a lawyer you trust.

Okay, with that out of the way, I wanted to talk a bit about fair use.  I’ve had several photographer friends try to justify to me that they can use copyrighted music in their slideshows.  That it’s acceptable.  Other times, the shoe is on the other foot… as those same photographers explain how their rights are being violated by websites.

Well… here’s a few things to think about.  The fair use concept is essentially a doctrine which provides situations where copyrighted works can be used without paying. It places reasonable restrictions on:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such…

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