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Because it is the right thing to do

In other words, you have my permission. Go for it.

I want to make it clear. If you want to quote from this blog, particularly for criticism or discussion, please do so. For your benefit I am offering a Creative Commons license similar to that used by Google, Wikipedia, Flickr, the Public Library of Science and countless other organizations.

This is a human-readable summary of (and not a substitute for) the license.

You are free to:

Under the following terms:

 

Notices:

 

In other words, you have my permission. Go for it.

There aren’t hard and fast rules when it comes to defining fair use. However, the Copyright Act sets out four factors for courts to consider:

  1. The purpose and character of the use: Why and how is the material used? Using content for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research is usually fair. Additionally, using material in a transformative manner, that is to say, in a manner that adds new expression, meaning, or insight, is also more likely to be considered fair use over an exact reproduction of a work. What’s more, nonprofit use is favored over commercial use.
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work: Is the original factual or fiction, published or unpublished? Factual and published works are less protected, so its use is more likely to be considered fair.
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole: How much of the material is used? If the “heart” (the most memorable or significant portion) or the majority of a work wasn’t used, it’s more likely to be considered fair.
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work: Does the use target a different market/audience? If so, it’s more like to be fair use. It’s important to note that although criticism or parody may reduce a market, it still may be fair because of its transformative nature. In other words, if the criticism of a product influences people to stop buying the product, that doesn’t count as having an “effect on the market for the work” under copyright law.
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