Fair Use Policy

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After some considerable research, we come to the conclusion that in aproaching the issue of "fair use" that "the less quoted from, the better."

I tend to agree with Condoleezza Rice's assessment of Fair Use, where she was writing, in her position as Provost, to the Stanford University's faculty, Hoover Institution fellows, academic staff, and library directors.

Quoting from Ms. Rice's letter:

    I. Fair Use for Teaching and Research The "fair use" doctrine allows limited reproduction of copyrighted works for educational and research purposes. The relevant portion of the copyright statue provides that the "fair use" of a copyrighted work, including reproduction "for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research" is not an infringement of copyright. The law lists the following factors as the ones to be evaluated in determining whether a particular use of a copyrighted work is a permitted "fair use," rather than an infringement of the copyright:

      the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

      the nature of the copyrighted work;

      the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and

      the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    Although all of these factors will be considered, the last factor is the most important in determining whether a particular use is "fair." Where a work is available for purchase or license from the copyright owner in the medium or format desired, copying of all or a significant portion of the work in lieu of purchasing or licensing a sufficient number of "authorized" copies would be presumptively unfair. Where only a small portion of a work is to be copied and the work would not be used if purchase or licensing of a sufficient number of authorized copies were required, the intended use is more likely to be found to be fair.
Basically, here at Forums for Justice, all Administrators, Moderators and members are charged with the responsibility for compliance with the standards of "fair use." This means that we:
  1. Look to see that no more of a published source was quoted from than absolutely necessary to convey an idea or topic for discussion.

  2. That we not allow to stand completely copied articles of any kind, and

  3. That we always (if at all possible) either link back directly to the source of our quote (if the source is online) or state the name of the article, and the publisher or periodical of origin, and attribute the quote by naming the author.

Hopefully, we not only stay seriously within the shifting boundries of fair use, but that we also provide a service in raising lively discussion regarding topics in the news, and perhaps even give people reason to refer to and/or purchase the original publication.

Meanwhile, we are working on a methodology for contacting the originating publications for waiver of use, and getting serious about asking for permission.

We should remain aware of the fact that full copying of articles can cause loss of revenue to the copyright holder. I'm aware that in the case of ephemeral publications like hard copy newspapers, periodicals, and the tabloid press this is a very real concern.

Therefore, what we now hope to do here at the fourms, is to quote and refer...that way if the reader wishes the full report, they are refered to the originating material. That way those who wish to read the issue under discussion in full context will have facilitated means by which to acquire or view the source materials. It is certainly a different and somewhat damaging thing, however, to quote an article in its entirity, which may thus negate any necessity to purchase the originating publication.

The penalties for copyright infringement are quite harsh: the court can award up to $100,000 for each separate act of willful infringement.

Please remember in exercising your rights of "fair use" in quoting from sources the four guidelines Ms. Rice mentions above; give credit to the originating publication and author; hyperlink to the article if it is online, use only what is necessary to convey the essence of the issue upon which you wish to make commentary, and that the main rule of thumb to remember is that usually less is best.

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