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 The fourth fair use factor, 'the effect of the [copying] use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work,' focuses on whether the copy brings to the marketplace a competing substitute for the original, or its derivative, so as to deprive the rights holder of significant revenues because of the likelihood that potential purchasers may opt to acquire the copy in preference to the original. Because copyright is a commercial doctrine whose objective is to stimulate creativity among potential authors by enabling them to earn money from their creations, the fourth factor is of great importance in making a fair use assessment. See Harper & Row, 471 U.S. at 566 (describing the fourth factor as 'undoubtedly the single most important element of fair use').

Campbell stressed the close linkage between the first and fourth factors, in that the more the copying is done to achieve a purpose that differs from the purpose of the original, the less likely it is that the copy will serve as a satisfactory substitute for the original. 510 U.S. at 591. Consistent with that observation, the HathiTrust court found that the fourth factor favored the defendant and ...

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