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Fair Use

Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission for purposes like commentary, criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research. However, fair use is determined on a case-by-case basis and is not clearly defined.


Using short snippets or clips of a song (30 Seconds or less, or 1 - 3 Minutes for Licensed Music as a general guideline) is more likely to be considered fair use. Extensive copying or use of the "heart" of the work favors the copyright owner. 


Non-commercial or educational uses are more likely to be fair, while commercial uses require stronger justification. Mixtapes and remixes posted on sites like MixtapeSubmit could potentially be seen as commercial depending on the specific use and intent.


Giving appropriate credit to the original artist can support a claim of fair use. However, lack of credit alone does not determine fair use.


If there is any uncertainty, it's generally best to obtain synchronization (sync) licenses from copyright holders, which allow use of samples against payment of a fee. Sites like MixtapeSubmit make this process easier.


The use of short, transformative clips used non-commercially with credit have a stronger fair use case, but there are no guarantees. Obtaining proper licenses eliminates legal risks. As always, consult an intellectual property attorney if you have specific questions.

Fair Use