Fair use is a concept embedded in U.S. law that recognizes that certain uses of copyright-protected works do not require permission from the copyright holder.
The Fair Use Doctrine is probably the most important exemption to copyright protections for educational settings, allowing many uses of copyrighted works for the purposes of teaching and research. The complexity of fair use and its importance in academia make it imperative that every member of Western Carolina University understands how to make judgments concerning fair use.
The following four factors are used to determine if a use is fair:
Is your intended use of the material commercial or educational? Is your intended use of the material transformative? Please note, not all educational uses are automatically considered fair use!
Is the work factual or fictional? Is the work published or unpublished?
Is the portion taken small in comparison to the overall size of the work? Does the portion taken represent the "heart" of the work?
Does the intended use deprive the copyright owner of income? Does the intended use harm a potential market for the copyrighted work?
Fantastic question! The scenarios linked below are intended to help faculty and students evaluate fair use. These scenarios are illustrative and not exhaustive. The examples deal with situations involving:
Please note that fair use analysis must be examined on a case-by-case basis. If you have any questions at all about doing a fair use analysis, please contact Scottie Kapel, firstname.lastname@example.org.