What Should I Know About Fair Use in New Jersey?
When you create content, ensuring you obtain a copyright for your work is crucial. This protects your authorship, ensuring you are credited and compensated if someone uses your work. It also gives you the right to send an infringement notice, informing the offending party they are using copyrighted material and must cease use. However, not all use of copyrighted material is illegal or an infringement. Fair use protects the right of others to use copyrighted material so long as it is transformative content. If you believe someone has violated fair use of your intellectual property, you’ll want to contact a Bergen County, NJ copyrights attorney for guidance.
What Constitutes Fair Use?
When someone uses your copyrighted content without permission, you may panic. However, it’s essential to understand whether or not the person who has used your content did so under fair use.
Fair use allows copyrighted content to be used by others if it is transformative in nature. This includes criticism, research, journalism, parody, and academia.
For example, if a person produces a movie and someone criticizes it on Youtube, the producer would not be able to claim that showing clips of the film is copyright infringement unless the Youtuber played the entirety of the movie with very little of their own content. Showing clips from a movie and pausing to comment on them is protected under fair use, as it transforms the film.
However, if a professor scans a whole textbook and distributes it to their classes for free, this could be a violation. This is because it could cause the original author to lose money.
What Should I Do if Someone Uses My Work?
If someone uses your work, examining the fair use laws is crucial. This is because fair use can differ on a case-by-case basis. Though this may seem challenging and vague to navigate, numerical guidelines such as “using less than 10% of the work” is not a valid policy, as sometimes the use of entire works is protected by this provision.
It’s also important to understand that fair use is a defense, not a right. This means if someone uses your property, they need to prove they were using the work in a transformative or educational manner. Though fair use may seem objectively unfair to the creators and owners of material, when used correctly, your work can be part of a larger conversation.
However, if someone has stolen your work and is trying to claim they reproduced it under fair use without adhering to the ideas that constitute fair use, you may have a claim on your hands. Reaching out to a competent intellectual property attorney is crucial to ensuring you proceed correctly. The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak have the experience you need to navigate your copyright case. Reach out today to connect with our dedicated legal team to learn how we can help you.