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Fair Use Resources
FL 103: Fair Use
Fact sheet on fair use with specific examples
Fair Use Checklist
A tool for evaluating and documenting your decision to claim fair use.
A Fair(y) Use Tale
A lighthearted introduction to fair use using clips from Disney films.
Using the Four Factor Fair Use Test (University of Texas at Austin)
This site gives descriptions and examples of uses that weigh in favor of and against fair use and those "in the middle" that can be further beneficial in a fair-use analysis. The four factors are defined individually and in relation to one another.
Fair Use Checklist
This is a printable worksheet (bottom of page) that allows you to select uses that favor and weigh against fair use based on your desired use. It also includes brief descriptions of each factor.
Fair Use Evaluator
This is an interactive, step-by-step guide developed by the ALA to facilitate fair use analyses among educators. From the ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy.
Fair Use Project (Stanford Law School)
This site follows active court cases regarding fair use, in addition to providing "legal support to a range of projects designed to clarify, and extend, the boundaries of fair use in order to enhance creative freedom."
What is Fair Use?
To create a balance between the interests of those who develop intellectual and creative works and those who benefit from accessing and using said works, copyright law includes exemptions that limit the exclusive rights of copyright holders. One such exemption is fair use, which allows users of copyrighted works to exercise certain rights without seeking permission or paying royalties.
The determination of whether the use of a copyrighted work is within fair use depends upon making a reasoned and balanced application of the four fair use factors set forth in Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act. These factors are:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether the copied material will be for non-profit, educational, or commercial use.
- The nature of the copyrighted work, with special consideration given to the distinction between a creative work and an informational work.
- The amount, substantiality, or portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
- The effect of the use on the potential market of the copyrighted work.
All four factors should be evaluated in each case, and no single factor will determine the outcome. In other words, while fair use is specifically intended to apply to teaching, research, and other activities, an educational purpose alone does not make a use fair.