Fair Use is an exception to United States copyright law, where a person/entity who does not own the copyright of something can use it without having to obtain the copyright owner's permission.
There are four factors of Fair Use to consider when evaluating your use of a copyrighted work.
- the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
- the nature of the copyrighted work;
- the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
- the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
While the library cannot provide legal advice, there are many helpful resources about copyright and fair use available. In addition to the US Copyright Law, additional Fair Use references are listed to the left. Below there is a Fair Use Checklist that can be used for a quick and easy evaluation of the "Four Factor Test".