Copyright and fair use

In relation to journalism, copyright means that the creator of a work, in this case usually written, visual or spoken, has exclusive rights to its use, distribution in order to profit from it. Journalists rely on the fair use doctrine to let them use any type of work that is copyrighted in limited circumstances with out obtaining permission of the owner or paying for its use.

The purpose of fair use is to offset the rights of the author for recompense with the rights of the public for the wide distribution of information and opinion. According to federal law, "The fair use of a copyrighted work … for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."

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