Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2009


The fair use doctrine in copyright has become the excuse for every creatively challenged author who gets caught using someone else's intellectual property without paying for it and tries to pass it off as his or her own. Fair use has also become the means to use someone else's work for purposes unrelated to the original without paying for the use.

While there are scholars who believe fair use should be more widely applicable than it already is, this Article will discuss how the fair use defense in music has been expanded far beyond the original legislative intent and has been applied too liberally by the courts, potentially rendering an author's rights under 17 U.S.C. § 1068 meaningless. For authors to recapture these lost rights, the defense should be severely restricted, abolishing it for all but a very few narrowly tailored exceptions.