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Fair use is an exception to copyright that allows use of another’s work without permission from the copyright owner. Commonly accepted fair uses include commentary, criticism, parody, and news reporting, but there are no hard and fast rules, and courts have broadened the concept in the last couple decades. Understanding fair use is important for authors both so they can protect their own work and know how to avoid infringement when using the work of others. 

In this webinar, Authors Guild CEO Mary Rasenberger and Director of Policy & Advocacy Umair Kazi will discuss the four factors that courts use to determine fair use and answer your general questions. Note that we cannot provide legal advice in these forums, but members can get their individual questions answered through our legal services.


Umair Kazi is the Director of Policy & Advocacy at the Authors Guild. He studied law at the University of Iowa, and creative writing at Columbia University.

Mary Rasenberger is the CEO of the Authors Guild and Authors Guild Foundation. Prior to joining the Guild in November 2014, Mary practiced law for over 25 years in roles that spanned private practice, the government and corporate sector, as a recognized expert in copyright and media law. From 2002 to 2008 Mary worked for the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress as senior policy advisor and program director for the National Digital Preservation Program. Immediately prior to coming to the Guild in late 2014, Mary was a partner at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard, and previously Counsel at Skadden Arps, where she counseled and litigated on behalf of publishing, media, entertainment, and internet companies, as well as authors and other creators, in all areas of copyright and related rights. Earlier in her career, Mary worked at other major New York law firms and for a major record company. Mary is a frequent speaker, lecturer and writer on copyright law and authors’ rights. She is on the Council of the American Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section; an Advisor to the Executive Committee of the Copyright Society of the USA; a founder of Copyright Awareness Week, and an Adviser to the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Law, Copyright. Mary received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.A. in Philosophy from Boston College, and her B.A. from Barnard College.