Jasper, AL asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama

Q: Fair use covers saving a website offline or copy and pasting the content into my notes verbatim for later studying?

Archiving these into my personal storage without sharing is also considered fair use then? Incidental sharing means sharing only to one or a small number of people?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In the United States, fair use is a legal doctrine that allows for the limited use of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder. Saving a website offline or copying and pasting its content verbatim into your personal notes for later studying may potentially be considered fair use, depending on various factors such as the purpose of your use, the nature of the content, the amount copied, and the effect on the market value of the original work.

If you are archiving these materials for your personal use and not sharing them with others, it may strengthen your fair use argument. However, incidental sharing, even to a small number of people, may not necessarily be considered fair use. Fair use is a complex and context-specific legal concept, and whether a specific use qualifies as fair use would ultimately be determined by a court of law. It's important to always consider the four factors of fair use (purpose, nature, amount, and effect) when assessing the legality of your actions with copyrighted materials and consult with legal counsel if you have concerns about potential copyright infringement.

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