Entertainment Law Partners

Fair Use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as use for scholarship or review. It provides for the legal, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test. Although several hundred years old, in 2005, the doctrine of Fair Use became extremely current and relevant to filmmakers when the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, the Independent Documentary Association, public TV's Independent Television Service and the series P.O.V., and other media groups endorsed a Statement of Best Practices defining four kinds of situations when a producer, under the "fair use" provisions of copyright law, need not pay for a film clip, a shot of a painting or a snatch of music. As a result, a "Fair Use Rider" was negotiated with the E & O Insurance providers, allowing E & O Insurance to be issued to filmmakers who utilized the Fair Use doctrine in their films.

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