Fair Use Of Copyright Laws In The United States

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In recent news, there has been a lot of concern over how Copyright Laws are defined and enforced, and exactly how Fair Use contributes to the discussion. In the United States, Copyright Laws are put in place to protect people who create new works such as music, art, literature, or computer programs, in order to provide and secure the original owner the right to reproduce and sell their work for profit. However, recent examples have shown that, although they can beneficial to those who produce creative works, Copyright Laws can be abused and used to the detriment of businesses and other content creators. Despite being protected under the Fair Use doctrine of the Copyright Act, many content makers on various creative platforms, such as YouTube, …show more content…
Although Copyrighted material is set in place to protect the original creator of the work, there are some situations in which other creators are allowed to utilize others’ works for their own projects. These special circumstances fall under the Fair Use doctrine, which states, “‘the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies… for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching… scholarship, or research’ is not considered an infringement” (Herzfeld 1). Therefore, if the utilization of copyrighted material in one’s own work is transformative enough to fall under one of these categories, it is considered “fair use” and a copyright infringement is not in place. However, these guidelines have yet to be completely solidified, and in fact, are often ignored by most companies and creators that seek to claim infringement upon others. One example of the ignorance of the Fair Use claims is the situation where popular YouTube creators Ethan and Hila Klein of “h3h3 productions” were sued by Matt Hosseinzadeh after their transformative use of one of his videos for critical analysis. The Kleins were reported saying that they “maintain [that] their use of HossZone’s content in their reaction video is fair use and they believe they are being sued because HossZone did not like their …show more content…
Upon first glance, social media can seem like a tremendous gray area, because, “at its core, social media is all about sharing content” (Herzfeld 1). However, these actions of passing forward others’ content on social media do not fall under the category of Copyright infringement. Despite this, users of social media still face issues with Copyright infringement, as many users and companies tend to take advantage of the lax nature of Copyright Laws and take content to pass off as their own. In 2010, photographer Daniel Morel’s photos of the earthquake in Haiti were obtained from Twitter by “Agence France Presse… and [were] distributed without Morel’s permission” (Herzfeld 1). Agence France Presse received monetary gain from this action, mostly due to advertising revenue, and Morel was left uncredited for his work. Once again, a numerous amount of similar situations have appeared across the internet, all of which leaving the original creator or supplier of content out of the picture. Consequently, these social media creators have taken it upon themselves to find ways to protect their work and prevent theft by other users and companies. Yet, that should not have to be the case as the law clearly states that they are the sole owner of their own content, and “[there is not a] blanket right to copy and distribute

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