MY NOTES: Business Organizations | Constitutional Law I | Copyright Law | Evidence | Wills and Trusts

American Geophysical Union v. Texaco, Inc., 60 F.3d 913 (1995) p.693


fair use


Texaco scientists often would copy articles from a journal for their own use in their office.


The District Court considered the four factors in Section 107 and held that Texaco's photocopying of those eight articles did not constitute fair use.


Whether the fair use defense to copyright infringement applies to the photocopying of articles in a scientific journal.


Copying of articles for personal libraries, for use during employment, does not fall under fair use.


Texaco's copying of the articles was not fair use.


The court went through the four elements:

  1. PURPOSE AND CHARACTER: the use was personal, made just for future retrieval and reference; also the copies were for practical purposes (easier to carry around separate pieces of paper rather than an entire book)
    Texaco made 3 arguments here:
    • Commercial use: the district court put too much emphasis on the fact that Texaco is a for-profit corporation
    • Transformative use: the more transformative the new work, the less significance of the other factors; this use was not very transformative
    • Reasonable and customary practice: the argument is unsubstantiated
    Texaco loses this element
  2. NATURE OF COPYRIGHTED WORK: Texaco wins this element; the photocopied articles were essentially factual in nature and the scope of fair use is greater with respect to factual than non-factual works
  3. AMOUNT AND SUBSTANTIALITY OF PORTION USED: Texaco loses this element; the articles were copied in their entirety
  4. EFFECT UPON POTENTIAL MARKET OR VALUE: publication is often key to advancement in academic realm; the copies mean that the journal will probably lose a few subscriptions; because the journal only loses a few subscriptions the fourth factor tips only slightly in favor of the publisher


publishers did not seek an injunction - publishers were not trying to stop practice, were just seeking money

Created on: Thursday, October 28, 1999 at 18:57:11 (PDT)

Copyright © Thompson Resources, 1999, all rights reserved.