fair use

noun

Definition of 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

Examples of fair use in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

White Perch – fair using worms on humps and ledges in 6-9 feet of water. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018 Channel catfish - fair using nightcrawlers, minnows or cut bait lake wide. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018 The Post Office also argued that the use of the image was permitted by copyright's fair use doctrine because the Post Office derived little value from using an image of Davidson's slightly different version of the statue rather than the original. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Post Office owes $3.5M for using wrong Statue of Liberty on a stamp," 6 July 2018 Today, the Federal Circuit said that, as a matter of law, no jury could find fair use. Sarah Jeong, The Verge, "Federal Circuit sends Oracle v. Google back for third trial," 27 Mar. 2018 The court agreed and concluded that Davidson's modifications to the face were sufficiently large to grant his work originality and defeat the government's fair use claim. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Post Office owes $3.5M for using wrong Statue of Liberty on a stamp," 6 July 2018 The copyright for this source material usually lies with someone else, although whether copyright is actually being infringed in a meme is a murky legal question, as it could be allowed under fair use or parody laws. Francis Whittaker /, NBC News, "The end of memes? Campaigners dismayed at European internet ruling," 24 June 2018 If the end result of Trump’s tough talk really is more open Chinese markets and fairer use of U.S. intellectual property, investors could still win. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Walling Off China Won’t Erase U.S. Trade Deficits," 9 Mar. 2018 Second and related, the trademark doctrine of descriptive fair use holds that third parties have every right to describe their goods through good faith uses of terms or symbols that happen to be similar or even identical to somebody else’s mark. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Plimsoll Gear, which sells T-shirts with icon, threatens trademark lawsuit," 15 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of fair use

1847, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

26 Aug 2018

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The first known use of fair use was in 1847

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More Definitions for fair use

fair use

Legal Definition of fair use 

see use sense 2

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