fair use


: a legal doctrine that portions of copyrighted materials may be used without permission of the copyright owner provided the use is fair and reasonable, does not substantially impair the value of the materials, and does not curtail the profits reasonably expected by the owner

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Courts continue to explore the appropriate standards to analyze fair use. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Feb. 2023 The litigation deals with issues of intellectual property, copyright infringement and fair use in a rapidly changing new-media landscape. Alexandra Peers/ Cnn Business, CNN, 22 Oct. 2022 Most people aren’t taking the time to consider questions of fair use or privacy even. Ashoka, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2023 When the book’s publisher, Harper & Row, sued for copyright violations, Mr. Navasky and the magazine’s lawyers argued that the excerpts were newsworthy and protected under the doctrine of fair use. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2023 This raises questions of fair use and also rights of publicity. Lane Brown, Vulture, 27 Dec. 2022 Re: Create, an organization which advocates fair use on the internet, was a signatory on the letter. Robert Channick, Chicago Tribune, 7 Dec. 2022 Some of the justices at times questioned whether Warhol's illustration of Prince constituted fair use under the Copyright Act, since his and Goldsmith's photograph had a similar commercial purpose. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 13 Oct. 2022 Outstanding questions around the prioritization of operations, the negotiation of fair use of the sky, and other ethical questions around equity are vital for moving forward. Harrison Wolf, Forbes, 20 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fair use.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fair use was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near fair use

Cite this Entry

“Fair use.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fair%20use. Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Legal Definition

fair use

see use sense 2

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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