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

If one of them complains, remember the key tactic for winning a fair use copyright defense: subtly but relentlessly trash-talking your opponent. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "How to use Instagram like an appropriation artist," 18 Oct. 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of fair use

1847, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fair use

Statistics for fair use

Last Updated

28 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fair use

The first known use of fair use was in 1847

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fair use

fair use

Legal Definition of fair use

see use sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on fair use

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fair use

Comments on fair use

What made you want to look up fair use? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the way words of a language are spelled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!