The main purpose of copyright law is to promote the arts and sciences for the public good. The secondary purpose of copyright law is to ensure the copyright holder retains a benefit for their work. Additionally, the Fair Use Doctrine allows a defense to an individual who uses the copyrighted work without permission, so long as a four-factor test under the Doctrine is properly met. The four factors this test analyzes are the Purpose Factor, The Nature of the Work Factor, The Amount Used Factor, and The Effect on the Market Factor. When news organizations have sought protection under the Fair Use Doctrine, this four-factor test has been unfairly weighed against a finding of fair use. The current trend of the courts is to deny news organization protection under the Fair Use Doctrine, because the Purpose Factor and The Effect on the Market Factor weigh against a fair use finding. Consequently, this comment proposes the primary and secondary purposes of copyright law be taken into closer consideration when deciding fair use questions, and the Fair Use Doctrine be amended to provide a fair analysis to news organizations.
Frank J. Lukes, The Public Good v. A Monetary Profit: The News Organizations’ Utilization of the Fair Use Doctrine, 11 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 841 (2012)