Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fair Use Defense

Fair use as a concept stands on very tricky grounds. One cannot just be sure if the ground will stick through as fair use or not. In the scenario where such a matter reaches the courtroom, the time and finances that are invested into settling the dispute, many a times outweighs the benefit reaped out of the use in the first place.

For all those people who have been taking shelter of acknowledgments and disclaimers are not really safe. The very fact that one has acknowledged the original author in his or her use of the protected work does not preclude the person from their liability in a suit of infringement.  The fact that the original author has been cited can support the author in his claim of infringement; if he chooses to retort to the claim of a person infringing upon his right of publicity.

The fact that a disclaimer has been added to the use of the protected work does not preclude the user from his liability towards infringement. A disclaimer stands to prove stronger grounds for fair use, but does not stand as a ground for defense in its own merit.

One of the best ways to avoid any claims of copyright infringement is to abstain from using the protected material without the explicit permission of the original author. Apart from the usual factors which are taken into consideration while judging an instance of fair use, consideration of acknowledgements and disclaimers proves to be a viable option for the courts. 

- Bagmisikha Puhan