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Copyright: For Instructors

An introduction to issues of copyright as they relate to students and faculty on campus

Fair Use

1. The purpose and character of your use
The Transformative Factor
--Has new value, meaning, aesthetics, or understanding been added? 
--Scholarly research and parody are both value-added.
--Review the US Copyright Office Fair Use Index for more information

2. The Nature of the Copyrighted Work
--A stronger case can be made for use of nonfictional rather than fictional works.
--Greater leeway is granted for using published rather than unpublished works
--Review the US Copyright Office Fair Use Index for more information


3. The Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Taken
--Less is best—The less one uses copyrighted material, the less chance one has to infringe on copyright
--“The heart of the work” standard---the crux or most essential part of a copyrighted work may be brief.  It is more important,              however than less crucial albeit more lengthy material.
--Parody has no heart—In some circumstances, parody may include an entire work including any essential passages.
--Review the US Copyright Office Fair Use Index for more information

4. The Effect of the Use upon the Potential Market
--Does your use deprive the copyright owner of income or undermine the market for their copyrighted work?
--Review the US Copyright Office Fair Use Index for more information

--Stanford University

Fair Use --Charting Your Reasoning

Brigham Young University is beta testing an interactive fair use guide using a four-factor analysis to compare a respondent's answers with a bank of fair use cases and then providing a fair use probability score.   

Cornell University Libraries provides a detailed and easily understood resource to consider if the use of a work constitutes fair use.

Columbia University Copyright Advisory Services provides a fair use guide along with a discussion of the document's benefits, using it as a roadmap, and provisos.

The TEACH Act is used in conjunction with Fair Use specifically with distance education. At present, there are more restrictions on multi-media use in online teaching than in face-to-face classrooms.

Oregon State University Libraries developed this worksheet for faculty to determine if the use of a copyrighted work constitutes fair use. It is advisable to retain the worksheet as a record of your reasoning.

Fair Use--Best Practices

Creative Commons License

  CC BYThis license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.