Lesson 5

Fair Use Policy


In the fair use policy there are 3 different cases, being; free use, fair dealing, or fair practice. Fair Use is a way that they can make the copy right claim fair for both sides, this involves; free speech, news reporting. All these are only used if the copyright law against the case is too restrictive.

The way people can use this system is they can show a source of information to support their case, as long as the document is in the right of fair dealing. The material must be quoted and information that is not helpful or useful is removed, they must show the name of the author and the copyright law along with it.


In a more basic form, this means that instead of the court having a one sided copyright claim, the opposite side of the case can have a word and defend themselves, this is the use of a fair use policy. They can supply word documents, which have to be quoted, none modified and shown who the author is, they may also request for the news to use their availability in their jobs to make the case for other people to make a decision on and what the public think about it. They must have their own copyright permission to use the documents that they will supply to the court judge.


Fair Use of Copyright is not effective?

The downside of the copyright fair use law is that the Lawyers of the content that is been used mainly control it. The writers and any other high up role for the content don’t have a say. For example ‘Graham Linehan’ a comedian who was behind the scenes of IT Crowd, Father Ted and Black Books has said that in his experience the rules of the copyright are very restrictive. Any of the work he wants to try to remake, which he did the predator in a costume with a funny scene which set a copyright claim off and the makers of the costumers lawyers said they had no right to the Fair Use of Copyright and should pay the company for the use of the idea.

Even if the film/script is made some time after its been published, a company/person can claim that you’re not allowed to use the text even if you had evidence that you’re not intending to make it the same. Graham has a case where the name Predator was still having a right.


What are the reasons for and against Fair Use policy?


  1. If something that has a copyright claim comes on the news, its not claimable as they’re not using it for their own good but to show others for fair use. Teachers can also use the same type of reason, they’re allowed to use the text books and copy from them as its educational.
  2. People have the right to use footage or a quote for a review as they’re not re-selling the copyrighted content.
  3. Allows the makers of the content to have a say in what happens to their work and if they want a claim or to let the people use it. (Most people are happy with you using as long as you’re not planning on reselling their making.
  4. Helps people get ideas from using their copyrighted content, this linking to the 1st point as its giving them some ideas and able to use that as the example without being sued for it.
  5. If its something minor and is not going to make the person ‘taking’ it famous, then it becomes un-fair but if they’re just using it for something of an idea or an aim, its a free pass for people to use the content without feeling like they’re going to be taken to court for it.

The ‘for’ said of the case it much easier as its a case of, allowing people to use content which they don’t intend to make their own money and make the author/producer lose money over time. For example, being a writer, most of it will be used if its related and there for must be fair-use as long as the author is happy with the outcome and they have not made it out of hand with aggressive or offensive material.



  1. One of the main against points is the actual definition of the word ‘Fair Use’, when researched you’ve given many reasons behind it and many other ways, you don’t know what the court judge is going to be following as its such an awkward case.
  2. Linking to the first point, the Fair Use can backfire horribly if you use in a way that looks intentionally made to create it into your own content. Most lawyers will take the person to court to see what the judge things which is going to cost both side £1000’s.
  3. Anything other that documents it a lot more awkward as its an actual thing, for example a prop that the comedian ‘Graham Linehan’ wanted to use is the face from predator to recreate a comedian shot of that scene. When the Lawyers of the predators costume designers found out they immediately make a none-use of the law ‘fair-use’ and demanded either money or a case in court for the costume piece or idea.
  4. Another problem with fair use is that it it can come at anytime, the same person ‘Graham Linehan’ had made the scene with the predator and as he was still doing the shots, he was sued for the name that he referred to as the ‘predator’ which was the reference to the film. (he was intending to do this and do later copyright permissions). The Lawyers make a court case and went through and made Graham change the name of the scene to ‘alien bounty hunter’. Which is just what he is but a li

The problem which you have with the Fair Use policy is that its very unstable and can change to the basis of the case, wether its a document and was intentional or if it was just used to make a review to show or a write up, some of the lawyers will take you down to court for it to make some extra from for the year. The larger more dangerous ones being the props and storylines as the ones that can get you in some big trouble with some high end lawyers. As you’re using the content to recreate something of your own based off of their idea, its not allowed by lawyers or producers that think they’ll lose money.




From all of the information that i have gathered from the ‘fair use policy’, i feel that in some cases its acceptable to use someones else’s work as an example or a review as long as you’re not using it to re-sell or advertise, as long as you’re only using it for your own education their is nothing that can be done to prevent you from doing this.. Certain things such as props, names and books are content that you don’t want to be trying to use freely to get as the lawyers need to see clear evidence that you wont be showing this as your own or selling it on for money (leading producers/authors to lose money). They will also look to see if your work at the final product looks anything like theirs and if they find something it will be terminated and investigated for copyright marks.

Also i feel that its not worth trying to get rights to something that is not going to be accepted. as they can be a mix between, complicated situation and  depending on what you’re using the content for and the scale of the content, its not work going down the long road paying for the content to be allowed to be used, when they’re going to try to get money from you even for the small things. Things like songs or mini videos are no long allowed to be used as the makers are not getting paid which leads the court to get involved, which leads to people spending masses amount of money to get the case finished.

As for the definition of the fair use policy stands, i feel that its an effective way of making sure copyright content is being allowed to be used for students like myself to be able to freely use the content and not be sued £1000’s just so we can add it to our projects. Being able to use content from the news is something else that is a powerful one as it means we don’t have to ask them if we can use the information that they are giving out for people to view and use. Also the law allowing the news to take copyright footage or claimed material and feely show it to the public to allow us too see and understand what is going on. This is something that has changed the world in many ways…





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