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What are the Pros and Cons of Fair Use


Owners of copyright have their specific rights set aside to protect their work from reproduction and which not only upholds the originality of the work but ensures the copyright owners earn a profit from their work. There is, however, the limitation set aside to this copyright and which is called Fair Use. This exception to the copyrights is termed as fair because it benefits the copyright owner as well as the user of the work being copyrighted. The appropriate use limitation in the United States is provided under Section 107 of the copyright law. The exceptions in the proper use specified in section 107 cover areas such as criticisms, research, news reporting, scholarship, as well as educational purposes (Torremans 29). The pros and cons of fair use will be discussed in detail below.


Section 107 which contains the far use has four specific factors that are used to determine whether any particular purpose is being fair or not and whether it the individual can be allowed to copyright the work or not. The first factor is to examine the nature of the copyrighted work. This is then followed by the next factor, which is determining the amount and substantiality of the portion that will be used as compared to the whole copyrighted work. The purpose and character of the use being needed and determine whether the goal is commercial use or educational purpose that is non-profit. Lastly is the effect of the use of the copyrighted work in the potential market or its value to the copyrighted work.


When the fair is employed, the work of the owner is being recognized and even diverted to a large number of people who may not have had a chance to read the work. This is especially true when the fair use is carried out by new reports or for educational purposes in classes as it reaches a large number of people. The other advantage to this is that the minimal excerpts from the work may lead to curious people to want to find out more and hence end up purchasing the whole original work and this leads to financial benefits to the copyright owner. 

Some very many writers have published their work in similar subjects, and their work is not yet widely recognized. Having fair use is a way of the people knowing the copyrighters work on the subject manner, and this is an honour and a way to appreciate the excellent work of the writer. This is a good reason for even the copyright owners to encourage fair use and completely support it. 

The fair use advantage is not only to the copyright owner but also to the people using it. This includes the researchers, scholars, teachers, filmmakers and news reporters. They get to use the information without having to incur extra costs of payments as long as they only use excerpts of the material and not infringe it (Aufderheide & Peter 99). 

The other advantage that has so far been recorded is to the economy of the nation. The number of fair users has increased drastically, and this means an increase in the revenue of the copyrights. The increased has mainly been recorded in areas such as web search, internet, internet publishing, and electronic shopping, among other areas.


Fair use has its disadvantages to the copyright owners. The first of these disadvantages is the fact that fair use is not profitable to the copyright owner. The users of copyright do not have to incur any payment, and hence the writers will not benefit. They disburse the information to a large number of people who then do not get the need to purchase the copyrights, and the owner ends up losing. This is in comparison to cases where there is no fair use, and hence people will be forced to purchase the copyright document, and this leads to increased financial profits.

The other disadvantage is from the fraudulent people who lie about fair use of the copyrighted work. They insist that it is not for commercial purpose, but once they have approval, they take the information and make a profit out of it from selling it to people even though it is illegal (Burrell & Allison 74). This poses a considerable disadvantage to the owner of the copyright being disbursed. Care must be employed because intellectual property damage might be carried out on top of altering the intellectual property laws. Copyright owners might reduce their writing due to the increase in the amount of fair use and their reduced profit in the long run, and this is a significant disadvantage.


There are more advantages in having fair use too many parties, and more of these benefits are towards the owners of the copyright. These advantages, therefore, are enough for me to support appropriate use as a limitation of the copyrights laws. A long as the work of the writer is not being infringed; then it is wise for them to permit the category of people mentioned above (scholars, researchers and news reporters) who want to use parts of the information copyrighted for educational and not commercial benefit.

The bad thing about not granting permission is that many people will take a considerable risk and use the copyrighted information for commercial purposes. Since no recognition has been made, then the writer will not benefit at all. I, therefore, whole support the idea of having fair use on some of the copyrighted information if a large number of people will benefit legally from it and not only academically but economically as well.


Fair use has its advantages and disadvantages to the people and especially the owners of the copyrighted information. According to Quinn & Mike (2014), the good thing about this fair use law under Section 107 of the Copyrights law is that there are specific factors which guide as well as limit the category of people that would want to use the information without any legal implications and this is a good thing in ensuring that the owner of the copyright does not loose.

Work Cited
  • Aufderheide, Patricia and Peter Jaszi. Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright. Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 2011.
  • Burrell, Robert and Allison Coleman. Copyright Exceptions: The Digital Impact. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. 
  • Quinn, Michael and Mike Quinn. Ethics for the Information Age: Pearson New International Edition. New York: Pearson Education Limited, 2014. 
  • Torremans, Paul. Copyright Law: A Handbook of Contemporary Research. Washington, DC: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009. 

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