The Meaning of the Four Fair Use Factors

The purpose of the fair use provision is to allow limited use of copyrighted material without obtaining prior permission from the copyright owner. Consideration of all of the fair use factors explained below is required. However, all factors do not have to be on the favorable side to reasonably conclude that a valid fair use claim can be made.
A fair use analysis is fact driven. Each unique set of facts regarding a proposed use leads to its own reasoned conclusion. Reasonable individuals may come to different conclusions concerning the same set of facts, but the operative word is “reasonable.”
The same fair use analysis applies to all formats and mediums, including the digital environment, and includes not only the right of reproduction but also the rights of performance, display, modification, and distribution.
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