What is Fair Use?

"Fair Use" is a term that applies to the limited use of copyrighted material for what the US Copyright Office describes as "criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research," without requiring permission of those who hold the copyright. However, this is a very tricky section of the US Copyright laws, and as such, we have provided guidelines to follow when you're incorporating sections of copyrighted material into your work.Fair Use

There are four factors considered in determining whether or not a use without permission is "fair."

    * The purpose of the use.
    * The creative nature of the copyrighted work.
    * The size of the portion copied in relation to the work as a whole.
    * The effect of the use on the potential market or value of the work.

The US Copyright Office holds some guidelines for educational purposes.

    * Fair Use Guidelines for Classroom Copying
    * Guidelines for Off-Air Broadcast Programming for Educational Purposes
    * Guidelines for Educational Use of Music
    * Specific Authority to transmit copyrighted works for Distant Education under 17 USC §110
    * Limitations on exclusive rights on the use of
          o Performances and Displays
          o Reproductions by libraries and archives, and
          o Computer Programs,
          o Non-Commercial Broadcasting.

Links to other informational documents on Fair Use.

   1. The University Of Texas System has created "Rules of Thumb" for Educational Fair Use of Works.
      *Includes coursepacks, distance learning, image archives and more!
   2. The Copyright Bay covers many aspects of fair use, go to the Multimedia Warf or Distant Ed Point, just to name a few!

      *Note: This site was not prepared by attorneys, is not to be considered "legal advice", and is intended only to inform and entertain educators about copyright issues in a non-profit setting.

For additional Information and assistance in obtaining permission for using copyrighted materials contact


Printing and Mailing Services
Print Materials: Kiara Goldtrap @ 737-9062
Multimedia Materials: Craig Sheward, Director of Technology Transfer @ 737-3439
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