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Syracuse University Libraries

Open Access: Fair Use

Fair Use or Not?

The four factors for Measuring Fair Use are:

  1. The purpose and character of your use (eg. commercial vs. educational)*
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion taken
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market

* Not all uses in an academic context are automatically considered fair use!

TEACH Act

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002 (TEACH), clarifies what uses are permissible with regard to distance education.

Fair Use Doctrine

The Copyright Law prohibits the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted works. However, the "Fair Use Doctrine", in Section 107, offers a set of guidelines to which researchers, educators, scholars, and others may use copyrighted works without seeking permission or paying royalties. There are four factors which must be considered when evaluating whether or not the use of a copyrighted work is "fair use" are:

  • The purpose and character of your use (eg. commercial vs. educational)
  • The nature of the copyrighted work
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion taken
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market

The Fair Use Doctrine does not provide a right to use somebody else's work, but presents a defense against accusations of copyright violation for people who reasonably believed that their use of a copyrighted work was fair use.

Introduction

Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. It provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test (See Title 17, section 107)

User Rights, Section 107 Music

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A Fair(y) Use Tale

Fair Use Resources