Skip to main content
When do I need copyright?
What is Fair Use?
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. (See Title 17, section 107)
What Determines Fair Use?
The following four factors are used to determine if a use
- The purpose of the use (eg. commercial vs. educational)*
- The nature of the copyrighted work
- The amount of the material used
- The effect of use on the potential market for or value of the work
* Not all uses in an academic context are automatically considered fair use!
Fair Use in Academia
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 the Sewanee community understands
how to make judgements concerning fair use.
Tools to help you Determine Fair Use
- Fair Use Evaluator: helps users collect, organize, and document the information they may need to support a fair use claim, and provides a time-stamped PDF document for the users’ records. Developed by the American Library Association, Office for Information Technology Policy.
Jessie Ball duPont Library, University of the South
178 Georgia Avenue, Sewanee, TN 37383