- by Rishi Kumar
On the issue of copyright and fair use, we refer to the article by Electronic Frontier Foundation
Intellectual PropertyThe Bloggers' FAQ on Intellectual Property addresses issues that arise when you publish material created by others on your blog.
Questions About Copyright
I found something interesting on someone else's blog. May I quote it?
Yes. Short quotations will usually be fair use, not copyright infringement. The Copyright Act says that "fair use...for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright." So if you are commenting on or criticizing an item someone else has posted, you have a fair use right to quote. The law favors "transformative" uses — commentary, either praise or criticism, is better than straight copying — but courts have said that even putting a piece of an existing work into a new context (such as a thumbnail in an image search engine) counts as "transformative." The blog's author might also have granted you even more generous rights through a Creative Commons license, so you should check for that as well.
What is fair use?There are no hard and fast rules for fair use (and anyone who tells you that a set number of words or percentage of a work is "fair" is talking about guidelines, not the law). The Copyright Act sets out four factors for courts to look at (17 U.S.C. § 107):