Fair use is a term we hear bandied about all the time nowadays (Shepard Fairey vs. AP, Patrick Cariou vs. Richard Prince, etc.), but what is it really?

The library of the University of Minnesota has this very useful guide called “Thinking Through Fair Use” to help you determine if what you’re doing does in fact falls within the guidelines, and they remind us that “Fair use is very context-dependent”. Sure, those guidelines are more easily enforced (or circumvented) when you have high-power attorneys behind you, but in the wise words of Auntie Mame, “knowledge is power.”

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

One reply on “A Helpful Guide to Fair Use”

  1. “Fair use is a term we hear bandied about all the time nowadays”

    We hear it a lot in the history of art as well.

    “The library of the University of Minnesota has this very useful guide called “Thinking Through Fair Use””

    It said “page not found” when I filled out the form and clicked on the button.

    Which kinda sums up nice friendly attempts to limit Fair Use to something that wouldn’t produce the art that led to the current artworld.

    If Warhol had filled out that form and acted on it, you wouldn’t be talking about him being 10% of the modern art market.

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