Info on U.S. Copyright Fair Use

U.S. Copyright Fair Use Index Released

The U.S. Copyright Office has released a database of court decisions and related materials that help explain the doctrine of fair use. The database includes materials from the Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeal and U.S. District Courts.

The database may be searched by key words and limited to cases from specific courts. The searcher can also specify particular types of materials, such as texts, computer programs, paintings, music, parodies, films, etc.

The U.S. Copyright Office cautions, “Although the Fair Use Index should prove helpful in understanding what courts have to date considered to be fair or not fair, it is not a substitute for legal advice. Fair use is a judge-created doctrine dating back to the nineteenth century and codified in the 1976 Copyright Act. Both the fact patterns and the legal application have evolved over time, and you should seek legal assistance as necessary and appropriate.”

To search the database, go to: