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Copyright and Fair Use: Fair Use

This guide will help students and faculty understand copyright, fair use, and plagiarism better.

What is Fair Use?

"Fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright...The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration."

Copyright law of the United States of America: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107

Scenarios / Legal Cases

What Determines Fair Use?

"In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include — 

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

Copyright law of the United States of America: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107

Tools to help you Determine Fair Use

  • Fair Use Evaluator: "help you better understand how to determine the "fairness" of a use under the U. S. Copyright code. Developed by the American Library Association, Office for Information Technology Policy.