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What is Fair Use?

 "What Is Fair Use?

Fair Use refers to the right to use a copyrighted work without the copyright owner’s permission. In this context, “use” might mean to make a copy or photocopy, to paraphrase, to quote, to record, etc. Such usage is exempt from the copyright holders' granted rights.

Educational or research usage typically falls under Fair Use, especially in the traditional face-to-face classroom environment. There are additional exemptions in Section 110 specifically for a distance learning environment ...
There are four areas of usage that are likely candidates for the fair-use exemption.

  • Criticism and/or Comment
  • Scholarship and/or Research
  • Teaching and/or Preparation for teaching
  • News reporting

Explainations about Fair Use

From Stanford University:

Fair use is a copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials forpurposes of commentary and criticism. For example, if you wish to criticize a novelist, you should have the freedom to quote a portion of the novelist's work without asking permission. Absent this freedom, copyright owners could stifle any negative comments about their work.

Appropriate application of fair use is through the incorporation of the four factors of measure fair use. Please click on the link to learn more about this topic.

Copyright and Fair Use News

Fair use circulars from the Copyright Office

Video explaining Fair Use

Ellen Durance from MIT libraries explains the four factors of fair use.