A non-profit organization

A non-profit organization is a group of people that is oriented primarily to help others by producing funds mainly from donations. The funds generated is not used by the group to gain more money or profit, instead, it is used to serve others. On the other hand, profit organizations may or may not serve others, but they are mainly focused on producing money or profit to further gain leverage. Despite their purpose, some profit organizations helps other if they have extra income. The Fair Use Act is a law that is implemented to protect intellectual properties.

Non- profit organizations may or may not use copyrighted materials for free, depending on the conditions and situations set by the organization. Profit organizations on the other hand are not advised to use copyrighted materials for free. They are required to pay royalty fees to be able to use copyrighted materials. Fair Use Act is included and written in section 170 of the copyright act of 1976. This act requires that a piece of copyright material like images, videos, music, etc.

can be used and even replicate and distribute without limits for the intention of criticism, suggestion, comment, teaching, news reporting, scholarship or research without the group using the copyrighted materials suffering legal consequences and outcome. Even if the copyrighted material is not included within the category of public domain materials, the same conditions apply. The following features differentiates the Fair Use Act in relationship to a particular and specific copyrighted material or other created works; the person that will use the copyrighted material must use it for non-profit or educational purposes only.

Second, the copyrighted material must be appropriate for use academically and educationally. It must also be fit to criticism, research, or other non-profit generating applications. Third, the copyrighted material should not be used in whole without adding any commentary or supplementary educational materials. And lastly, the use of the copyrighted material must not change the value or availability and convenience of the work to others purchasing or paying royalty fees for commercial applications of the material.

If a material is unpublished, meaning it is not properly presented to the public, the constituents and parts of the Fair Use Act still apply. Experts have worked out a list of rules that can facilitate the interpretation of the Fair Use Act and its circumstances and apply it to a variety of artistic and creative materials. The best play for professionals looking to use copyrighted materials is to either purchase the said material or pay royalty fees. The following rules will assist in the determining the magnitude of coverage of the Fair Use Act if a person using a copyrighted material.

In the end, only a trusted copyright attorney or the United States Copyright Office can make the final verdict on whether or not the Fair Use Act applies, but the following set of rules will at least support in the process. First rule, the Fair Use Act protects and watches over listed libraries and gives them permission to replicate certain copyrighted materials for use academically and in research purposes. Another rule, television broadcasts that includes any background music can be used as part of off-air projects.

The Internet is the most efficient way of communication medium nowadays. Some companies are rapid to invest on the internet for profit generation. Non-profit organizations on the other hand, are slower. But with the current trend of decline on ways to reach donors, they might as well use this medium. A good example of the application of the internet on profit generation is the buying and selling of houses in real state. Some websites that offers these transactions shows images that may or may be copyrighted, depending on the nature of the image presented.

One of the sites found on the internet that can be used in non-profit learning module is http://www. insectimages. org/about/imageusage. cfm. This site has a warning that states that the images shown on their website is protected by Fair Use Act. They can show it because their purpose is educating people. Another site is http://www. carsandtuning. org. This website sells used cars and offers services to the public. They can present images because the used cars were photographed inside their car lot, meaning they have the proprietary rights in these images.

On the other side of the idea, some websites offer copyrighted graphs, like the one shown at but they did not properly cited it. They offered no concrete evidence that the said graph is theirs because it is not stated. The website with the following is not protected by Fair Use Act. The reason is simple; they use not original images of the houses they sell. In fact, one of the images found on this site bears the name of the contractor that built the house, and the image is not properly cited.

The internet is also a place for an efficient learning experience. But producing images and presentations to facilitate learning is also protected by Fair Use Act. A person must use only original images and other works that is self made, especially if the finished material is to be published on the web. If it is not avoidable to use other people’s works, it is proper to cite it and give full credits to the one that created the copyrighted material.


  1. Royaltyfreemusic (2008). Basic Rules of Fair Use. Retrieved May 13, 2008 from http://www. royaltyfreemusic.com/public-domain/basic-rules-fair-use. html.
  2. Royaltyfreemusic (2008). Definition of Fair Use. Retrieved May 13, 2008 from http://www. royaltyfreemusic. com/public-domain/consideration-fair-use. html. American Library Association (2006, April 18).
  3. Copyright: Fair Use Legislation. Retrieved May 13, 2008 from http://www. ala. org/ala/washoff/woissues/copyrightb/oppenaccesstoresearc h/accessresearch. cfm.
  4. Insect Images: Forest Health, Natural Resources & Silviculture Images (2007, June 11).
  5. Image Usage. Retrieved May 13, 2008 from http://www. insectimages. org/about/imageusage. cfm.

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