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Fair Use And Fair Dealing Exceptions To Copyright Law

What you can and can't do ...


In our last blog post, we discussed the requirements for copyright infringement to come about under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. However, there is a range of fair use exceptions and limitations to copyright infringement in the CDPA ...

For all of these fair use and fair dealing exceptions, they must be seen as fair!

For all of these fair use and fair dealing exceptions, they must be seen as fair!

copyright: alexandersikov / 123rf

In general terms, this is called either Fair Usage or Fair Dealing. The CDPA calls it fair dealing and lists a number of exceptions with respect to specific uses:

  • research or private study

  • reporting current events

  • criticism or review (as in ‘theatre review’ rather than ‘re-watching’)

  • quotation

  • parody

  • caricature

  • pastiche

For all of these exceptions, the dealing must be seen as fair. UK courts and judges have explained that they will look to the objective standards of a 'good and honest person' in order to establish if the act was fair.

According to leading judges, "this will be a matter of degree. You must consider first the number and extent of the quotations and extracts. Then you must consider the use made of them. If they are used to convey the same information as the author, for a rival purpose, that may be unfair. Next, you must consider the proportions. To take long extracts and attach short comments may be unfair. But, short extracts and long comments may be fair ... it must be a matter of impression. As with fair comment in the law of libel, so with fair dealing in the law of copyright."

Furthermore, the law will also ask, "is the alleged fair dealing in fact commercially competing with the proprietor's exploitation of the copyrighted work? If it is, the fair dealing defence will fail"

The vast majority of copyright infringements arise from either reporting of current events or in use for quotation purposes. Individuals use clips from news channels without realising that they could be overstepping these fair dealings exceptions.

"Display Rights works with leading broadcasters
from around the world!"

We are well-positioned to help you with any licensing needs for executive interviews or thought leadership videos and are happy to offer advice on what you can and cannot use in your own videos to ensure you do not infringe copyright and stay within the rules of fair usage and fair dealing.

Until next time ...



Would you like to know more?

If anything we've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about fair usage and fair dealing, do click here to get in touch with us or leave a comment below and let's see how we can help you.

You can also visit our website at www.displayrights.com.

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About DisplayRights ...


In 2003, DisplayRights, formally known as Executive Interviews, recognised the rising demand for online video, specifically in the corporate sector, and relaunched itself as a company focused on the recording, repackaging, and rights distribution of television and radio news interviews. Since then, DisplayRights has expanded to become a full-service, global company recording over 150,000 interviews and news clips annually. DisplayRights is headquartered in the UK, with wholly-owned subsidiaries in the United States and Asia.

As the needs of our clients change, so do we! We have now fully rebranded to DisplayRights to better reflect what we do, which now includes talks and presentations as well as executive interviews. We hope that our new brand can better serve how our content partners and clients want to work with us.

We are proudly partnered with the world's leading business news networks, providing their guests with timely, professionally-produced, and fully licensed video clips to post to their public websites or corporate Intranets, use at trade shows, investor conferences, corporate meetings, and more.

In addition, we now offer registered access to more than 16,000 thought leadership videos from leading educational networks which can be accessed free of charge by anyone, helping them learn, grow and thrive.


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