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See also; Copyright and; Legal (UK)

(IMPORTANT: The following information is a basic outline describing aspects of fair trading. It is not a comprehensive legal guide to be relied upon without specific professional legal assistance.)

The use of photographs is not covered in the same way by these exemptions.


These terms are used (Fair Use is another variant of the term and may only be applicable in other countries), to describe the inclusion of segments of third party news / factual media for critical analysis and comment.

It is being able to use what would otherwise be copyright material, without needing copyright permission, or the need to make payment for the use of the media.

The idea / purpose is to be able to utilise the media that you are referring to, or to give an indication why you are putting forward a case / critic for say, biased reporting. Some uses like this have included a selection of media (news etc.) as examples of the reporting being criticised.

It could also include newspapers. You would still need to identify the owner of the work (i.e. company / broadcaster and title of the work, or programme).

If you cannot get independent legal advice for your inclusion of this kind of media, then tread carefully. The best practice is if you are that unsure, or cannot get legal advice, or go ahead, then forget it and find another way to make your point

Reporting current events may mean that copyright material is present through no fault of your own. If it is to be submitted for news broadcast then usually Fair Trading may apply and if not the broadcaster would omit any unusable media.


1) The non-competative right to use copyrighted material without giving the author compensation or to sue for infringement of copyright.

2) The common and accepted practice of permitted use of news footage for legitimate purposes of media criticism and analysis in furtherance of freedom of press and opinion.


It is more straight forward to use media like this if the use is for a private study. However, it is important that it does not include being copied / distributed many times or broadcast over the internet for instance.

There is also some flexibility when a programme is intended for educational purposes, but you will need to check this. If used for this purpose a film may not be used for any other purpose and copies and wider distribution are still an infringement of the owners copyright.


Section 34(1) of the 1988 Act gives educational institutions the right to record off-air broadcasts for educational purposes. In the UK the certified licensing scheme is known as the Educational Recording License (ERA).


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