The following section of the US Copyright Act of 1976, as amended, is relevant to publishing in the digital age and using the Internet as a means of distribution. For the full text of the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended, jump to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School.
§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: fair use
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A [17 USCS §§ 106, 106A] the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include--
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
[Amended 10/24/92 by Pub. L. No. 102-492 which added this last sentence to § 107.]
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