Fair use is a term that is coined from the copyright law which permits use of a copyrighted work without permission of the author and without paying royalties to the author of the original work/book. However, this depends on a lot of factors. The first is that the quoted or reproduced portion of the copyrighted work must be considerably small. The second thing is that there must be proper acknowledgement of the author of the book. Apart from this, the quoted or reproduced part of the work must not affect the market value of the original work or book of the author.
Also, fair use is determined by the purpose and character of the use by the person quoting or reproducing the book. This copyright law has been a cause of controversy in different ways. The fist issue that is raised by this law is this – how can we determine the “smallness” in terms of proportion, of the quoted or reproduced work? Apart from this, another question that is raised by this law is how do we weight the effect that the quoted or reproduced part has on the overall sales of the original book?
These are some of the issues that are being raised by this copyright law. Generally, fair use issues are issues that can not be avoided in the educational field especially in content development. This is because schools and researchers will have to refer to other people’s work in their scholastic works. One major thing about knowledge is that it is not solitary. When a scholar researches a thing, of course he/she will have to make reference to the work of others. What am I saying?
What I am saying is that education or content development involves the scholar using another author’s work and building on it. What we have is just an improvement of what is already on ground. Apart from this, it is hard to classify some usage as fair use. Given the case study, the amount of people that registered for the course are actually many but it was not the intention of the instructor to unfairly use the work of the author. Summarily, I would describe the copyright law a reasonable law but the truth is that it brings with it an unavoidable evil.