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Last Updated: Nov 16, 2015     Views: 49

Fair Use is a principle within copyright law that allows the limited use, for limited purposes, of copyrighted material without permission of the copyright holder.  Generally, fair use covers using selections of copyrighted material in the classroom for educational purposes.

Factors to consider:

  • Purpose and character of the use (commercial use or nonprofit/educational use).
  • Nature of the copyrighted work, i.e. fiction or non-fiction, published or unpublished.
  • Amount and substantiality of the portion of the work used in relation to the work as a whole.
  • Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The Doctrine of Fair Use has been codified in Section 107 of the copyright law, and contains a listing of various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work/s may be considered fair use (criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, research, etc).

Source: U.S. Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 107


Updated November 2015

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