The Difference Between Copyright and Fair Use

             When it comes to the difference between copyright and fair use, the two are parallel to one another. The definition or purpose of copyright is to owning the rights to an original work, like owning property. So whom ever created or wrote the work has all rights to do whatever they please, from how they display it, distribute, replicate, or perform it. To copyright a work, there are three requirements: 1) the work must be original, 2) creative to a minimal degree and 3) in a fixed or tangible form of expression. The copyright law covers seven categories that are: literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomime/choreographed works, pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, motion pictures and audiovisual works and sound recordings.  With all this said the copyright law only allows a short list of ways one’s work may be copied or used. This is with permission of copyright owner, if it is public domain, legal exception and fair use.

            The Fair Use, allows teachers to use copyrighted materials, or works, for educational purposes. Although, there are four standards that have to be met to be qualified as the Fair Use which are the following: Purpose of use, means copying and using selected parts of a copyrighted work for educational reasons or purposes. Nature of work means a teacher can copy a paragraph instead of a chapter. Proportion/extent of the material used means the duplicate should be excerpts from the work, not the work in its entirety. Lastly the Effect on Marketability, works being copied cannot take away from the owner’s sales profit, for example a teacher copying chapters out of a text book, leaving no reason to purchase one.

            The two differ because of their guidelines. In copyright, the owners work cannot be copied for any reason or without getting the permission of the author or creator, with the fair use, a teacher cannot take away from the original author nor can they copy the work entirely. While, one would not exist without the other and the two, works off one another which make them parallel to each other.

The reason producers of multimedia works should respect the works of other producers because it is simply respect for another’s work. One should also respect the law, if a person has copyrighted their work, to honor that law. Not respecting a person’s work is really stealing, and taking away from the author or creator economically and their power. Teachers that use the Fair Use still will be accountable for abusing this power and are held responsible for knowing this information. In conclusion the Fair Use in no way takes from the original author, but it lets teachers use works as another resource.