Copyright law protects the interest of creators and guarantees their exclusive rights over their authorial creations. However, are there exceptions to this rule? Read on to understand the fair use exceptions to copyright in Florida.
What Are the Fair Use Exceptions to Copyright in Florida? – The Basics
When someone uses copyrighted material without the creator’s express authorization, that person can be liable for copyright infringement. One of the possible defenses available for claims of copyright infringement is the doctrine of fair use.
Under the doctrine of fair use, the unauthorized use of copyrighted materials can be excusable if the infringer’s action is deemed “fair” in court.
Fair Use Exceptions to Copyright in Florida – Determining Fairness Under Law
A copyright infringement lawsuit occurs when a plaintiff (the legitimate copyright holder) accuses a defendant of infringing on protected work. Copyright laws apply to several works of authorship, which include:
- Literary and dramatic works (e.g., poetry, novels, essays, etc.)
- Musical works
- Artistic works (e.g., movies, screenplays, drawings, photographs, etc.)
- Computer software
If applicable, the defendant can allege that the infringement is excused under the fair use doctrine.
Section 17 U.S. Code § 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 provides that “the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, (…) is not an infringement of copyright.”
The rule applies if the material is used “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research.”
The same section specifies that “in determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
- The nature of the copyrighted work
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
- The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work”
If the defendant’s argumentation is sufficiently solid to demonstrate the fair use of copyrighted material, the court may allow the defendant to continue using the work without paying damages.
Fair Use Exceptions to Copyright in Florida – A Realistic Overview
It is fundamental to understand that the Copyright Act was carefully crafted as a guideline for courts across the country. In Florida, state courts can freely adapt the doctrine to determine the outcome of particular cases with different circumstances.
While all four factors tend to be equally important in court, judges often focus on the purpose, the character, and the effect of the use of copyrighted material.
Without determining the nature of the infringement and the effect on the legitimate copyright holder’s market, it is impossible to identify whether the plaintiff was actually injured by the defendant’s actions.
Fair Use Exceptions to Copyright in Florida – Immediately Contact Jurado & Associates, P.A.
Copyright law is a complex legal matter. Rely on a well-versed intellectual property attorney from Jurado & Associates, P.A. by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] for expert legal guidance.