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Fair Use   Tags: copyright fair-use  

Last Updated: Feb 17, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Fair Use Week

Fair Use Week is February 20-24, 2017.

Take a moment to learn about Fair Use!


What is Fair Use?

Fair Use allows the use of copyrighted material under certain circumstances.

It is allowed within the law of copyright, but is itself only a set of guidelines that require the user to make a considered decision based on four factors.

The Four Factors

- Purpose: Uses of copyrighted material that are educational or non-commercial are more likely to be fair use. Commentary, parody, and news reporting are generally fair.

- Uses that transform the original work are most likely to be fair.

- Nature: How the original exists as well the intent behind the creator are a consideration. Published, factual works are more likely to be used fairly.

- Portion: Smaller, insignificant quantities (rather than using the original work in full) are more likely to be fair use.

- Market Effect: Copyright exists to protect creators' rights to profit from their works. Uses that will not effect that profit are more likely to be fair.


  • Understanding Fair Use
    A guide explaining Fair Use in detail from the University of Minnesota
  • Fair Use Checklist
    A checklist to help analyze and visualize whether a use is fair from Columbia University
  • Copyright Circular 21
    A booklet explaining guidelines for the "Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians" from the United States Copyright Office
  • Codes of Best Bractices
    A collection of codes for best practices of Fair Use in various fields from the Center for Media and Social Impact

Remix: Fair Use

This TED talk by filmmaker Kirby Ferguson in 2012 explores Remixing, the art of reuse in creativity.


Remix: Book Art

This TED talk by artist Brian Dettmer in 2014 explores his use of books (copyrighted material!) in his art.


Remix: From the Collection

Cover Art
Rip! A Remix Manifesto
Call Number: R588


A Fair(y) Use Tale

This video both explains and demonstrates Fair Use by being entirely composed of clips from Disney movies.

Watch with captions if you find it hard to follow!


Fair Use Fundamentals

These posters from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) explain some of the fundamentals of Fair Use on campus.


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