Copyrighted Material Under U.S. Code Term Paper

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The student enters an illustration contest, and wins first place. The first place prize is a $5,000 check. The student is sued for copyright infringement.

In this case, the use of the illustration was done as a commercial venture, yet was also done as a criticism, something quite obviously protected by Section 107. The use of the copyrighted material may have damaged the market in which the tuna company operated, but the student's art did not directly compete within that market. The original work clearly constituted an imaginative work. However, the student did not directly use that work, instead choosing to use parody.

By examining the copyright fair use statements, and the precedence set by other courts, it is almost impossible to predict how a court of law would decide this issue. The work was intended for commercial use, may harm the market, and uses clearly imaginative original artwork in its theme. These factors tend to imply a violation of copyright laws. On the other hand, the image was a critical evaluation, done in parody, in a market other than that of the original work. These factors favor the finding that the work falls under the fair use factors.

Stuck Writing Your "Copyrighted Material Under U.S. Code" Term Paper?

It is clear, based on the above examples and court cases, that the laws regarding fair use of copyrighted material are too vague to provide true guidance. Each case is decided by precedence and the subjective opinion of the judge or jury. There are no solid guidelines in place to regulate use of copyrighted material, and as a result, many materials are used each day in violation of copyright laws. In order to truly protect copyrighted materials, Title 17, Section 107 must be rewritten, with more specific limitations on concepts such as "commercial use," the "nature" of the original work, the "amount" of work used, and the "market" of the original work. Until such concepts are clearly identified and regulated, both holders of copyrights as well as those attempting to use those materials will continue to be confused regarding the proper use of copyrighted materials.


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