Copy Right, Copy Sense



Bellsouth vs. Donnelley

Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony

Copyright CodeA Linked Index

Feist Publications vs. Rural Telephone

Peter Veeck versus Southern Building Code Congress International Inc.,

Publications International  v. Meredith Corporation

Trade-Mark Cases, 100 U.S. 82 (1879)

U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8

Information on this site cannot be considered legal advice.  If you need legal advice on copyright, please consult an attorney or refer to one or more of the sponsor links on the right side of the page. Another place you might look is the US Copyright Office web site.

The copyright information on this site applies to U.S. Copyright, unless otherwise stated.

Fair Use

To ease the conflict between scholarly growth and the copyright owner's rights, the law includes a right of "fair use" which allows limited copying without consent.

The limits of fair use are not well defined, intentionally left so by Congress. While fair use is very applicable to scholarship and research, it may also be applied in other applications where the use of pre-existing and copyrighted materials is appropriate.

Fair use is a privilege that is also a source of confusion. The statute is deliberately ambiguous, fair use depending on each case's circumstances. Four factors are considered:

  • Purpose of the use, including non-profit educational use
  • Nature of the copyrighted work
  • Amount of copying
  • Effect of the copying on the potential market for, or value of, the  original work

Most universities and libraries have fair use policies for activities such as copying materials for research or for classes. Few guidelines exist for fair use of materials in other environments, such as genealogy, business presentations or training. Legal challenges to the fair use of materials in such situations is not often seen in court and the costs of litigation and attorney fees would often be prohibitive.  However, it is very conceivable that businesses where copyright infringement occurs could be a tempting target for infringement suits.

Copy Right, Copy Sense Home

Copyright Articles:

What is Copyright?

My Copyright Infringement

How to Deal With Online Media Pirates

Copyright Fundamentals for Genealogy

My Copyright was Infringed!

What is NOT protected by copyright?

Copyright Claims That Just Ain't So


Copyright Concepts:

Authors Labor

Authors Rights

Civil or Criminal?



Copyright Facts

Copyright Notice


Electronic Mail

Fair Use

Fair Use and the DMCA

Foreign Works

From Creation


Inadvertent Infringement


Infringement Remedies

Licenses and Notices

Not Everything Protected






Public Domain

Purpose of Copyright

Really Copyrighted?

U.S. Government Works

What's Protected -

Who Owns the Law? -

Work Place Training


About Copy Right, Copy Sense


2005, Michael Goad