Day 4: Fair Use Week: Music

“Famous” Fair Use Cases: Music

Fair use. A person running for political office used 15 seconds of his opponent’s campaign song in a political ad. Important factors: A small portion of the song was used and the use was for purposes of political debate. (Keep Thomson Governor Comm. v. Citizens for Gallen Comm., 457 F.Supp. 957 (D. N.H., 1978).)

Not a fair use. Downloading songs is not a fair use. A woman was sued for copyright infringement for downloading 30 songs using peer-to-peer file sharing software. She argued that her activity was a fair use because she was downloading the songs to determine if she wanted to later buy them. Important factors: Since numerous sites, such as iTunes, permit listeners to sample and examine portions of songs without downloading, the court rejected this “sampling” defense. (BMG Music v. Gonzalez, 430 F.3d 888 (7th Cir. 2005).)

Bill Graham Archives v. DK, by Sarah W. Searle and Kyle K. Courtney (2016). (Read more about the case here.)

 

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Author: Leslie L Morgan

Leslie serves as the Africana Studies and Education Librarian within the Hesburgh Libraries.