Originally Posted by isaiahbrink
While Ed does bring up extrememly excellent referances to law, I hate to make things more complex, but what about "Fair Usage"? Which if my memory serves correctly, does allow for some limited usage as long as it is NOT for profit.
Fair Use, as provided by 17USC2319 Section 107 (just happened to have that reference for the copyright lecture I present so many times each school year) says that "the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies.. for purposes such as (1) criticism, (2) comment, (3) news reporting, (4) teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), (5) scholarship, or (6) research is not an infringement of copyright."
What that means is that as long as you're using the copyrighted work for one of the above reasons (and note that does not include things like advertising or self promotion) within the Library of Congress guidelines then you can CLAIM that your use is legal under "fair use". The law only provides a "good faith defense" for educators and students of an educational institution - apparently, anyone else would have to back up their use if challenged.
The judgement of whether your use was fair or not rests upon four factors: (1) the purpose and the character of your use (including whether your use was commercial or not and how long you are using the material - the law specifically refers to "limited use" in reference to duration,) (2) the nature of the copyrighted work, (3) how much of the work you used (as a percentage of the whole work) and (4) the effect your use had on the value of the original work.
Note that non-commercial use is not absolutely required: for example big daily newspapers are decidedly commercial - and they avail themselves of the "fair use" laws to reprint copyrighted material quite often in reviews, news articles (especially business reports quoting from companies annual reports and such), etc.
So, while there are "fair use" provisions for using copyrighted material, the uses that are allowed are rather limited - and in any event do not come close to giving the same rights as a copyright holder has either in scope or duration.