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New Fair Use Index from the U.S. Copyright Office


Yesterday, the U.S. Copyright Office announced the launch of its new Fair Use Index. Designed to provide the public with searchable summaries of major fair use decisions, the index can be searched by jurisdiction or subject matter. For example, searching the database for 5th Circuit decisions regarding fair use in satire or parody returns the result of Dall. Cowboys Cheerleaders, Inc. v. Scoreboard Posters, Inc., 600 F.2d 1184 (5th Cir. 1979). The index does not link to the full text of the cases, rather a case brief that explains the basic facts, issue, holding, and outcome.

Though the database would be more helpful to practitioners if it linked to the full-text of the cases, it is easy to use and provides information to the public that is easy to understand. Anyone who is interested in learn the basics of how the fair use exception operates in copyright law will find it worth a look. 

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