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What is Fair Use?
Fair use is a concept in U.S. law that protects the use of protected copyrighted works that doesn't require permission from the copyright holder. (See Title 17, section 107)
What Determines Fair Use?
Four factors that determines fair use:
- The purpose of the use (eg. commercial vs. educational)*
- The nature of the copyrighted work
- The amount of the material used
- The effect of use on the potential market for or value of the work
* Not all uses in an academic context are automatically considered fair use!
Fair Use in Academia
The fair use doctrine is the most important exemption for educational purposes. It allows the use of copyrighted works for teaching and research purposes.
Review these Common Scenarios to help you determine whether or not fair use is appropriate.
Tools to help you Determine Fair Use
- Fair Use Elevator: helps users collect, organize, and document the information they may need to support a fair use claim, and provides a time-stamped PDF document for the users’ records. Developed by the American Library Association, Office for Information Technology Policy.